Gaia factsheet


To create an extremely accurate 3D map of around one billion stars. To carry out spectroscopic observations of around 150 million stars, a technique used to derive many properties of distant stars and galaxies, such as their chemical composition, temperature, density, mass, distance, luminosity, and relative motion.

Launch date:

19 December 2013

Mission end:

Nominal mission end after 5.5 years (2019), including 0.5 years commissioning.

Launch vehicle:


Launch location:

European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana


Lissajous orbit around the second Lagrange point L2, 1.5 million km from the Earth.

Watch the video!

The video introduces Gaia mission and its scientific goals, explains how Gaia will carry out measurements, and looks at the handling of the vast amount of data gathered by the satellite.

Image on the banner: Roberto Mura (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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