Gaia Lifted Off

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,974
    ESA’s Gaia spacecraft has officially blasted off on track for a five year mission to create a 3D map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

    Gaia’s officially lifted off!  The European Space Agency launched the 2 billion euro probe from French Guiana.  It’s mission is to map more than a billion stars in 3D as well as hunt for planets and asteroids.  So essentially it will be mapping the Milky Way in 3D.  How cool is that?  Blasting into orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket, the mission will last five years and will hopefully provide more insight into the origin and evolution of the universe as well.  The makers of the telescope, Astrium, say that it is so sensitive that is could measure a person’s thumbnail from the moon.  That’s pretty precise.  It’s the biggest camera ever put into space.