Home » International News » Europe’s Gaia mission ready for galactic survey

Europe’s Gaia mission ready for galactic survey

The European Space Agency is sending the $1.2 billion Gaia mission to space Thursday to catalog a billion stars, promising to be a prolific discoverer of planets, asteroids and supernovas for generations of astronomers. Artist’s concept of the Gaia spacecraft. Credit: ESA With a billion-pixel camera at the heart of the mission, Gaia is billed as the most sensitive telescope ever put into space. Its twin telescopes will see an average of 40 million stars every day over Gaia’s five-year mission, which begins Thursday with a launch atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Center on the northern coast of South America. Gaia is housed inside a climate-controlled shroud at the tip…