Tag Archives: Toulouse

Update from the Gaia Operations team

There’s a detailed technical backgrounder today over at ESA’s Rocket Science blog reporting on the Gaia mission operations testing campaign. It was written by the Spacecraft Operations Manager, Dave Milligan, and covers what’s happening at ESA’s ESOC Operations Centre as the mission gets closer to lift off. Well worth a read! Access full report

Gaia shipment to Kourou in Antonov airplane

Yesterday, Gaia was transported in a special convoy from the Astrium premises to Toulouse-Blagnac airport from where it departed for the launch site in Kourou in an Antonov plane. The transport of a satellite to the launch base needs to be handled very carefully and requires unusual means. Therefore, the satellite was put into a container before, in order to protect it from the external environment.       The plane was already waiting at the runway when the container with Gaia arrived: An Antonov 124-100, the second largest plane in the world (after A380), capable to carry up to 150 tonnes.         The 10 tonne Gaia container was...