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The Gaia mission

Prusti, T. and Joliet, E. (2016) The Gaia mission. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 595 . Art. No. A1. ISSN 0004-6361. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170113-081207571

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Abstract

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the European Space 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
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201629272DOIArticle
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2016/11/aa29272-16/aa29272-16.htmlPublisherArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.04153arXivDiscussion Paper
Additional Information:© 2016 ESO. Received: 8 July 2016 Accepted: 16 August 2016 Published online 24 November 2016 This work has made use of results from the European Space Agency (ESA) space mission Gaia, the data from which were processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. The Gaia mission website is http://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia. The authors are current or past members of the ESA and Airbus DS Gaia mission teams and of the Gaia DPAC. This work has financially been supported by: the Algerian Centre de Recherche en Astronomie, Astrophysique et Géophysique of Bouzareah Observatory; the Austrian FWF Hertha Firnberg Programme through grants T359, P20046, and P23737; the BELgian federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through various PROgramme de Développement d’Expériences scientifiques (PRODEX) grants; the Brazil-France exchange programmes FAPESP-COFECUB and CAPES-COFECUB; the Chinese National Science Foundation through grant NSFC 11573054; the Czech-Republic Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports through grant LG 15010; the Danish Ministry of Science; the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research through grant IUT40-1; the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme through the European Leadership in Space Astrometry (ELSA) Marie Curie Research Training Network (MRTN-CT-2006-033481), through Marie Curie project PIOF-GA-2009-255267 (SAS-RRL), and through a Marie Curie Transfer-of-Knowledge (ToK) fellowship (MTKD-CT-2004-014188); the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme through grant FP7-606740 (FP7-SPACE-2013-1) for the Gaia European Network for Improved data User Services (GENIUS) and through grant 264895 for the Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training (GREAT-ITN) network; the European Research Council (ERC) through grant 320360 and through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through grant agreement 670519 (Mixing and Angular Momentum tranSport of massIvE stars – MAMSIE); the European Science Foundation (ESF), in the framework of the Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training Research Network Programme (GREAT-ESF); the European Space Agency in the framework of the Gaia project; the European Space Agency Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) programme through grants for Slovenia; the Czech Space Office through ESA PECS contract 98058; the Academy of Finland; the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation; the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) through action “Défi MASTODONS”; the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES); the French L’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) investissements d’avenir Initiatives D’EXcellence (IDEX) programme PSL∗ through grant ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02; the Région Aquitaine; the Université de Bordeaux; the French Utinam Institute of the Université de Franche-Comté, supported by the Région de Franche-Comté and the Institut des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU); the German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., DLR) through grants 50QG0501, 50QG0601, 50QG0602, 50QG0701, 50QG0901, 50QG1001, 50QG1101, 50QG140, 50QG1401, 50QG1402, and 50QG1404; the Hungarian Academy of Sciences through Lendület Programme LP2014-17; the Hungarian National Research, Development, and Innovation Office through grants NKFIH K-115709 and PD-116175; the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology through grant 3-9082; the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) through grants I/037/08/0, I/058/10/0, 2014-025-R.0, and 2014-025-R.1.2015 to INAF and contracts I/008/10/0 and 2013/030/I.0 to ALTEC S.p.A.; the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF); the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) through grant NWO-M-614.061.414 and through a VICI grant to A. Helmi; the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA); the Polish National Science Centre through HARMONIA grant 2015/18/M/ST9/00544; the Portugese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) through grants PTDC/CTE-SPA/118692/2010, PDCTE/CTE-AST/81711/2003,and SFRH/BPD/74697/2010; the Strategic Programmes PEst-OE/AMB/UI4006/2011 for SIM, UID/FIS/00099/2013 for CENTRA, and UID/EEA/00066/2013 for UNINOVA; the Slovenian Research Agency; the Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDER through grants AyA2014-55216, AyA2011-24052, ESP2013-48318-C2-R, and ESP2014-55996-C2-R and MDM-2014-0369 of ICCUB (Unidad de Excelencia María de Maeztu); the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB/Rymdstyrelsen); the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation through the ESA PRODEX programme, the Mesures d’Accompagnement, and the Activités Nationales Complémentaires; the Swiss National Science Foundation, including an Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship; the United Kingdom Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; the United Kingdom Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) through grants PP/C506756/1 and ST/I00047X/1; and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) through grants ST/K000578/1 and ST/N000978/1. The GBOT programme uses observations collected at (i) the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere with the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), under ESO programmes 092.B-0165, 093.B-0236, 094.B-0181, 095.B-0046, 096.B-0162, and 097.B-0304; (ii) the Liverpool Telescope, which is operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias with financial support from the United Kingdom Science and Technology Facilities Council; and (iii) telescopes of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. In addition to the authors of this paper, there are numerous people who have made essential contributions to Gaia, for instance those employed in the design, manufacturing, integration, and testing of the spacecraft and its modules, subsystems, and units. Many of those will remain unnamed yet spent countless hours, occasionally during nights, weekends, and public holidays, in cold offices and dark clean rooms. At the risk of being incomplete, we specifically name, in alphabetical order, from Airbus DS (Toulouse): Alexandre Affre, Marie-Thérèse Aimé, Audrey Albert, Aurélien Albert-Aguilar, Hania Arsalane, Arnaud Aurousseau, Denis Bassi, Franck Bayle, Pierre-Luc Bazin, Emmanuelle Benninger, Philippe Bertrand, Jean-Bernard Biau, François Binter, Cédric Blanc, Eric Blonde, Patrick Bonzom, Bernard Bories, Jean-Jacques Bouisset, Joël Boyadjian, Isabelle Brault, Corinne Buge, Bertrand Calvel, Jean-Michel Camus, France Canton, Lionel Carminati, Michel Carrie, Didier Castel, Fabrice Cherouat, Ludovic Chirouze, Michel Choquet, Claude Coatantiec, Emmanuel Collados, Philippe Corberand, Christelle Dauga, Robert Davancens, Catherine Deblock, Eric Decourbey, Charles Dekhtiar, Michel Delannoy, Michel Delgado, Damien Delmas, Victor Depeyre, Isabelle Desenclos, Christian Dio, Kevin Downes, Marie-Ange Duro, Omar Emam, Elizabeth Estrada, Coralie Falgayrac, Benjamin Farcot, Claude Faubert, Sébastien Finana, Grégory Flandin, Loic Floury, Gilles Fongy, Michel Fruit, Florence Fusero, Christophe Gabilan, Jérémie Gaboriaud, Cyril Gallard, Damien Galy, Benjamin Gandon, Patrick Gareth, Eric Gelis, André Gellon, Laurent Georges, Philippe-Marie Gomez, José Goncalves, Frédéric Guedes, Vincent Guillemier, Thomas Guilpain, Stéphane Halbout, Marie Hanne, Grégory Hazera, Daniel Herbin, Tommy Hercher, Claude Hoarau le Papillon, Matthias Holz, Philippe Humbert, Sophie Jallade, Grégory Jonniaux, Frédéric Juillard, Philippe Jung, Charles Koeck, Julien L’Hermitte, Réné Laborde, Anouk Laborie, Jérôme Lacoste-Barutel, Baptiste Laynet, Virginie Le Gall, Marc Le Roy, Christian Lebranchu, Didier Lebreton, Patrick Lelong, Jean-Luc Leon, Stephan Leppke, Franck Levallois, Philippe Lingot, Laurant Lobo, Céline Lopez, Jean-Michel Loupias, Carlos Luque, Sébastien Maes, Bruno Mamdy, Denis Marchais, Alexandre Marson, Rémi Mauriac, Philippe Mayo, Caroline Meisse, Hervé Mercereau, Olivier Michel, Florent Minaire, Xavier Moisson, Denis Montperrus, Boris Niel, Cédric Papot, Jean-François Pasquier, Gareth Patrick, Pascal Paulet, Martin Peccia, Sylvie Peden, SoniaPenalva, Michel Pendaries, Philippe Peres, Grégory Personne, Dominique Pierot, Jean-Marc Pillot, Lydie Pinel, Fabien Piquemal, Maxime Pomelec, André Porras, Pierre Pouny, Severin Provost, Sébastien Ramos, Fabienne Raux, Florian Reuscher, Nicolas Riguet, Mickael Roche, Gilles Rougier, Stephane Roy, Jean-Paul Ruffie, Frédéric Safa, Claudie Serris, André Sobeczko, Jean-Francois Soucaille, Philippe Tatry, Théo Thomas, Pierre Thoral, Dominique Torcheux, Vincent Tortel, Stephane Touzeau, Didier Trantoul, Cyril Vétel, Jean-Axel Vatinel, Jean-Paul Vormus, Marc Zanoni, from ESA: Ricard Abello, Ivan Aksenov, Salim Ansari, Philippe Armbruster, Jean-Pierre Balley, Rainer Bauske, Thomas Beck, Pier Mario Besso, Carlos Bielsa, Gerhard Billig, Andreas Boosz, Thierry Bru, Joe Bush, Marco Butkovic, Jacques Candeé, David Cano, Carlos Casas, Francesco Castellini, David Chapmann, Nebil Cinar, Mark Clements, Giovanni Colangelo, Ana Colorado McEvoy, Vincente Companys, Federico Cordero, Sylvain Damiani, Paolo de Meo, Fabio de Santis, Fabienne Delhaise, Gianpiero Di Girolamo, Yannis Diamantidis, John Dodsworth, Ernesto Dölling, Jane Douglas, Jean Doutreleau, Dominic Doyle, Mark Drapes, Frank Dreger, Peter Droll, Gerhard Drolshagen, Bret Durrett, Christina Eilers, Yannick Enginger, Alessandro Ercolani, Robert Ernst, Hugh Evans, Fabio Favata, Stefano Ferreri, Daniel Firre, Michael Flegel, Melanie Flentge, Alan Flowers, Jens Freihöfer, César Gómez Hernández, Juan Manuel Garcia, Wahida Gasti, José Gavira, Frank Geerling, Franck Germes, Gottlob Gienger, Bénédicte Girouart, Bernard Godard, Nick Godfrey, Roy Gouka, Cosimo Greco, Robert Guilanya, Kester Habermann, Manfred Hadwiger, Ian Harrison, Angela Head, Martin Hechler, Kjeld Hjortnaes, Jacolien Hoek, Frank Hoffmann, Justin Howard, Arjan Hulsbosch, José Jiménez, Simon Kellett, Andrea Kerruish, Kevin Kewin, Oliver Kiddle, Sabine Kielbassa, Volker Kirschner, Holger Krag, Benoiît Lainé, Markus Landgraf, Mathias Lauer, Robert Launer, Santiago Llorente, Guillermo Lorenzo, James Madison, Filip Marinic, Arturo Martín Polegre, Ander Martínez, Marco Massaro, Luca Michienzi, Ali Mohammadzadeh, Richard Morgan-Owen, Prisca Mühlmann, Michael Müller, Pablo Munoz, Petteri Nieminen, Alfred Nillies, Wilfried Nzoubou, Alistair O’Connell, Oscar Pace, Mohini Parameswaran, Ramon Pardo, Taniya Parikh, Panos Partheniou, Dario Pellegrinetti, José-Louis Pellon-Bailon, Michael Perryman, Christian Philippe, Alex Popescu, Alfonso Rivero, Andrew Robson, Gerd Rössling, Martina Rossmann, Markus Rückert, Jamie Salt, Giovanni Santin, Rui Santos, Stefano Scaglioni, Melanie Schabe, Dominic Schäfer, Micha Schmidt, Rudolf Schmidt, Jean Schütz, Klaus-Jürgen Schulz, Julia Schwartz, Andreas Scior, Jörg Seifert, Gunther Sessler, Felicity Sheasby, Heike Sillack, Swamy Siram, Claudio Sollazzo, Steven Straw, Mark Thompson, Raffaele Tosellini, Irren Tsu-Silva, Livio Tucci, Aileen Urwin, Jean-Baptiste Valet, Helma van de Kamp-Glasbergen, Martin Vannier, Kees van ’t Klooster, Enrico Vassallo, David Verrier, Sam Verstaen, Rüdiger Vetter, José Villalvilla, Raffaele Vitulli, Mildred Vögele, Sergio Volonté, Catherine Watson, Karsten Weber, Gavin Williams, Alistair Winton, Michael Witting, Peter Wright, Karlie Yeung, Igor Zayer, and from CERN: Vincenzo Innocente. We thank the referee, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, for constructive feedback that helped to clarify several items in the text.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Bouzareah Observatory Algerian Centre de Recherche en Astronomie, Astrophysique et Géophysique UNSPECIFIED
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsT359
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP20046
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP23737
Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO)UNSPECIFIED
PROgramme de Développement d’Expériences scientifiques (PRODEX)UNSPECIFIED
FAPESP-COFECUBUNSPECIFIED
CAPES-COFECUBUNSPECIFIED
Chinese National Science FoundationNSFC 11573054
Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (Czech Republic)LG 15010
Danish Ministry of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Estonian Ministry of Education and ResearchIUT40-1
Marie Curie Research Training Network - European Leadership in Space Astrometry (ELSA) MRTN-CT-2006-033481
Marie Curie projectPIOF-GA-2009-255267 (SAS-RRL)
Marie Curie Transfer-of-Knowledge (ToK)MTKD-CT-2004-014188
European Commission’s Seventh Framework ProgrammeFP7-606740 (FP7-SPACE-2013-1)
European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)264895
European Research Council (ERC)320360
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme670519
European Science Foundation (ESF)UNSPECIFIED
Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training Research Network Programme (GREAT-ESF)UNSPECIFIED
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
European Space Agency Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS)UNSPECIFIED
ESA PECS98058
Academy of FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Magnus Ehrnrooth FoundationUNSPECIFIED
French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
French L’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL
Région AquitaineUNSPECIFIED
Université de BordeauxUNSPECIFIED
Région de Franche-Comté and the Institut des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG0501
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG0601
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG0602
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG0701
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG0901
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG1001
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG1101
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG140
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG1401
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG1402
German Aerospace Agency (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QG1404
Hungarian Academy of Sciences Lendület ProgrammeLP2014-17
Hungarian National Research, Development, and Innovation OfficeNKFIH
Hungarian National Research, Development, and Innovation OfficeK-115709
Hungarian National Research, Development, and Innovation OfficePD-116175
Israel Ministry of Science and Technology3-9082
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/037/08/0
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/058/10/0
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2014-025-R.0
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2014-025-R.1.2015
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)I/008/10/0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)2013/030/I.0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)NWO-M-614.061.414
VICI grantUNSPECIFIED
Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA)UNSPECIFIED
Polish National Science Centre through HARMONIA2015/18/M/ST9/00544
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PTDC/CTE-SPA/118692/2010
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) PDCTE/CTE-AST/81711/2003
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) SFRH/BPD/74697/2010
Strategic ProgrammesPEst-OE/AMB/UI4006/2011
CENTRAUID/FIS/00099/2013
UNINOVAUID/EEA/00066/2013
Slovenian Research AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDERAyA2014-55216
Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDERAyA2011-24052
Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDERESP2013-48318-C2-R
Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDERESP2014-55996-C2-R
Spanish Ministry of Economy MINECO-FEDERMDM-2014-0369
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation through the ESA PRODEX programmeUNSPECIFIED
Mesures d’Accompagnement and the Activités Nationales ComplémentairesUNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Rutherford Appleton LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (UK)PP/C506756/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (UK)ST/I00047X/1
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/K000578/1
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/N000978/1
ESO programmes092.B-0165
ESO programmes093.B-0236
ESO programmes094.B-0181
ESO programmes095.B-0046
ESO programmes096.B-0162
ESO programmes097.B-0304
Subject Keywords:space vehicles: instruments Galaxy: structure astrometry parallaxes proper motions telescopes
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170113-081207571
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170113-081207571
Official Citation:The Gaia mission A1 Gaia Collaboration, T. Prusti, J. H. J. de Bruijne, A. G. A. Brown, A. Vallenari, C. Babusiaux, C. A. L. Bailer-Jones, U. Bastian, M. Biermann, D. W. Evans et al. (616 more) Published online: 24 November 2016 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201629272
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:73482
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Jan 2017 21:15
Last Modified:18 Jan 2017 21:15

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