The blog editors
Giuseppe Sarri, Gaia Project Manager
Giuseppe Sarri holds a master university degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino (I). From 1983 to 1989 he worked at the Microtecnica SpA on several aircraft projects. He joined the European Space Agency in 1989 initially working in the Columbus programme.
In 1994 he moved to the Science Directorate. Since then he has been the Payload Manager of Integral (the high energy observatory), the Study Manager of Eddington (the planet finding mission) and, for a short period, he was involved in the development of Planck (the cosmic microwave background observatory).
In 2004 he joined the Gaia team as Payload Manager responsible for the procurement of the telescopes, focal plane and relevant processing units. Since summer 2009 he is the Gaia Project Manager.
Ared Schnorhk, Gaia Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) manager, and Launcher Interface manager
In 1987, after my engineering degree in hydraulics/fluid mechanics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), I joined the European Space Agency (ESA) at its Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. For about 10 years, I participated to and led several research and development programs in the field of chemical propulsion (liquid and solid). In parallel, as a propulsion specialist, I supported the propulsion system development & testing of ESA scientific spacecraft like SOHO, XMM-Newton and Integral.
In 1998, I moved to the ESA Science Directorate as member of the Cluster 2 team (4 identical satellites for the measurement of the Earth magnetic field) as responsible of the mechanical and propulsion systems. After 2 successful launches (mid 2000), I joined the Mars Express team and, just after launch (June 03), I logically became part of the Venus Express team with, in addition, the responsibilities of the thermal system and launcher interface.
In the period between Venus Express launch in October 2005 and its orbit insertion in April 2006, I joined the Herschel/Planck team as principal mechanical system engineer for both spacecraft. After launch in May 2009, I moved to the Gaia project as AIV and Launcher interface manager. As such, I will do my best in organising and running the Gaia launch campaign in Kourou.
David Monteiro, Product Assurance and Safety Manager
David Monteiro is the newest member of the ESA Gaia team, but he has been with Gaia on the industry side since 2007. He is responsible for the Product Assurance and Safety and will be in Kourou throughout the entire launch campaign. His previous projects included MetOp-A, where he was part of the NASA team in Europe, supporting the payload AIT, launch and early commissioning. Before that he worked on ENVISAT in both quality assurance for the platform and payload and in the optical integration of one of the ENVISAT instruments. He has also supported optical integration and testing of instruments both in Europe and in the United States. David has a degree in Physics from Polytechnic Institute of New York.
Joe Pereira, Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) System Engineer
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Joe completed his education in the United Kingdom. He joined the Technical Directorate in ESTEC in February 1985 working on Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE). He supported various projects and missions including, in Telecommunications, ECS (the European Communication Satellite), Eureka and a Microgravity payload on Spacelab D2. He also participated in the Ulysses launch campaign in 1990. Joe joined the Science Directorate in 1994 as the Payload AIV Engineer on Cluster, responsible for the integration of 11 payloads on each of four identical spacecraft. Following the Cluster I disaster, he moved on to the very successful Cluster II mission, followed by both Mars Express and Venus Express. He was involved in all the launch campaigns associated with these three missions and was part of the countdown team for all four Soyuz launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan (Cluster II being launched in two stages).
He joined the Gaia project in January 2006. He is currently responsible for the operations of the Avionics Test Bench and the Integration and Environmental Testing of the Gaia Spacecraft. Joe will be part of the advance launch team preparing for start of the Gaia launch campaign.
Emily Baldwin, EJR-Quartz for ESA
Space Science Editor
Emily is a space science journalist from the UK, and has been based at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, since April 2012. She reports for ESA's Space Science Web portal team covering science stories resulting from ESA's missions. She has a PhD in planetary science and a keen interest in astronomy. She previously blogged for ESA during the 2012 transit of Venus, live from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. During the Gaia launch campaign she will be based at ESTEC.
Science Communication Officer
Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Mareike has worked as Science Communication Officer at ESTEC, ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, the Netherlands, since 2007. As part of the Science Outreach Team she communicates ESA’s scientific projects and latest mission results to the general public and media. Besides the ‘traditional’ PR activities such as preparing brochures, flyers, organising press conferences and web coverage, Mareike is very active on social media such as Twitter and Flickr where she shares space-related topics with the online community. She previously blogged for the launch and docking of ATV Jules Verne in March 2008 and covered the Venus transit in June 2012. For the Gaia blog, she will be reporting from ESTEC providing live coverage, images, videos and background material about the various Gaia activities.
Daniel Scuka, EJR-Quartz for ESA
Senior editor for Spacecraft Operations
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Daniel has worked as Web editor at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany, since 2004. As part of the ESA Web portal team, he reports for ESA's Human Spaceflight and Operations team and covers activities at ESOC and other ESA establishments. Daniel also edits ESA's Rosetta, Mars Express and Mars Webcam blogs, and he previously worked on the Columbus and ATV-1 blogs in 2008. For Gaia, he'll keep up with the mission operations team working under the Spacecraft Operations Manager, Dave Milligan, and the extended 'team of teams' at ESOC looking after flight control, on-board and ground systems, flight dynamics, navigation and the DSA ground stations.