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The Gaia mission

Prusti, T and de Bruijne, JHJ and Brown, AGA and Vallenari, A and Babusiaux, C and Bailer-Jones, CAL and Bastian, U and Biermann, M and Evans, DW and Eyer, L and Jansen, F and Jordi, C and Klioner, SA and Lammers, U and Lindegren, L and Luri, X and Mignard, F and Milligan, DJ and Panem, C and Poinsignon, V and Pourbaix, D and Randich, S and Sarri, G and Sartoretti, P and Siddiqui, HI and Soubiran, C and Valette, V and van Leeuwen, F and Walton, NA and Aerts, C and Arenou, F and Cropper, M and Drimmel, R and Hog, E and Katz, D and Lattanzi, MG and O'Mullane, W and Grebel, EK and Holland, AD and Huc, C and Passot, X and Bramante, L and Cacciari, C and Castaneda, J and Chaoul, L and Cheek, N and De Angeli, F and Fabricius, C and Guerra, R and Hernandez, J and Jean-Antoine-Piccolo, A and Masana, E and Messineo, R and Mowlavi, N and Nienartowicz, K and Ordonez-Blanco, D and Panuzzo, P and Portell, J and Richards, PJ and Riello, M and Seabroke, GM and Tanga, P and Thevenin, F and Torra, J 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Bressan, A and Brown, S and Brunet, P-M and Bunclark, P and Buonanno, R and Butkevich, AG and Carret, C and Carrion, C and Chemin, L and Chereau, F and Corcione, L and Darmigny, E and de Boer, KS and de Teodoro, P and de Zeeuw, PT and Delle Luche, C and Domingues, CD and Dubath, P and Fodor, F and Frezouls, B and Fries, A and Fustes, D and Fyfe, D and Gallardo, E and Gallegos, J and Gardiol, D and Gebran, M and Gomboc, A and Gomez, A and Grux, E and Gueguen, A and Heyrovsky, A and Hoar, J and Iannicola, G and Parache, YI and Janotto, A-M and Joliet, E and Jonckheere, A and Keil, R and Kim, D-W and Klagyivik, P and Klar, J and Knude, J and Kochukhov, O and Kolka, I and Kos, J and Kutka, A and Lainey, V and LeBouquin, D and Liu, C and Loreggia, D and Makarov, VV and Marseille, MG and Martayan, C and Martinez-Rubi, O and Massart, B and Meynadier, F and Mignot, S and Munari, U and Nguyen, A-T and Nordlander, T and Ocvirk, P and O'Flaherty, KS and Sanz, AO and Ortiz, P and Osorio, J and Oszkiewicz, D and Ouzounis, A and Palmer, M and Park, P and Pasquato, E and Peltzer, C and Peralta, J and Peturaud, F and Pieniluoma, T and Pigozzi, E and Poels, J and Prat, G and Prod'homme, T and Raison, F and Rebordao, JM and Risquez, D and Rocca-Volmerange, B and Rosen, S and Ruiz-Fuertes, MI and Russo, F and Sembay, S and Vizcaino, IS and Short, A and Siebert, A and Silva, H and Sinachopoulos, D and Slezak, E and El, MSF and Sosnowska, D and Straizys, V and ter Linden, M and Terrell, D and Theil, S and Tiede, C and Troisi, L and Tsalmantza, P and Tur, D and Vaccari, M and Vachier, F and Valles, P and Van Hamme, W and Veltz, L and Virtanen, J and Wallut, J-M and Wichmann, R and Wilkinson, MI and Ziaeepour, H and Zschocke, S (2016) The Gaia mission. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 595. ISSN 0004-6361

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Abstract

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). The spacecraft construction was approved in 2006, following a study in which the original interferometric concept was changed to a direct-imaging approach. Both the spacecraft and the payload were built by European industry. The involvement of the scientific community focusses on data processing for which the international Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) was selected in 2007. Gaia was launched on 19 December 2013 and arrived at its operating point, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, a few weeks later. The commissioning of the spacecraft and payload was completed on 19 July 2014. The nominal five-year mission started with four weeks of special, ecliptic-pole scanning and subsequently transferred into full-sky scanning mode. We recall the scientific goals of Gaia and give a description of the as-built spacecraft that is currently (mid-2016) being operated to achieve these goals. We pay special attention to the payload module, the performance of which is closely related to the scientific performance of the mission. We provide a summary of the commissioning activities and findings, followed by a description of the routine operational mode. We summarise scientific performance estimates on the basis of in-orbit operations. Several intermediate Gaia data releases are planned and the data can be retrieved from the Gaia Archive, which is available through the Gaia home page.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: EDP Sciences
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Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2017 11:07
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2017 11:07
DOI or Identification number: 10.1051/0004-6361/201629272
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5302

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