A spacecraft designed for a five-year mission to map precisely the stars of the
"This is a very exciting day for the Gaia mission and all the teams involved, who have worked for years to get to where we are today,"
When launched from the Kourou spaceport, Gaia will make observations of a billion stars to determine their precise positions in space and their motions through it, with the goal of creating a highly accurate 3-D model of the
Although a billion stars is only around 1 percent of all the stars spread across the
Measuring the temperature, luminosity and composition of that census of stars will allow astronomers to determine the origin and the evolution of our galaxy, they said.
"We are now looking forward to the coming weeks of final preparation, which we will undertake with the same care and determination that the teams have shown so far when building the spacecraft," Sarri said.
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