The new launch date is announced for Arianespace’s Soyuz mission with Gaia
Arianespace’s next Soyuz flight from French Guiana is now scheduled for launch on December 19 as the checks on its payload – the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia billion-star surveyor – are proceeding nominally.
With this planning, liftoff will commence at precisely 6:12:18 a.m. local time at the Spaceport.
Gaia was developed by ESA for its mission to chart a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Built by Astrium, the scientific satellite will collect a massive amount of data over its planned five-year mission – providing enough information to answer questions related to the origin, structure and evolutionary history of the galaxy.
With a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg., Gaia is to be placed on a trajectory to an orbit around the Sun at a location known as the L2 Lagrangian point.