The Gaia Mission

What's Gaia? Deep into the page to explore the mission!

What’s Gaia?

Gaia is an ambitious mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.

How long will the mission last?

Gaia is a five-year mission started on December 19, 2013 from Europe’s Spaceport, French Guiana. It will finish its operational lifetime in 2019.

Why Gaia?

On its way, Gaia will provide a census of about one billion stars in the Milky Way and beyond, and will observe each of its one billion sources about 70 times, resulting in a record of the brightness and position of each source over time.

This massive stellar census will provide the basic observational data to tackle an enormous range of important problems related to the origin, structure, and evolutionary history of our Galaxy.

The result will be an astronomical catalogue and data archive of unprecedented scope, accuracy and completeness that will be availabe through this website, Gaiaverse.

When will data be available?

First data release (Gaia-DR1) is scheduled by the end of summer 2016. Stay tuned!

Learn more about the Gaia mission on this video!

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