News 2001



Gaia Technical Activities remain on hold
The Industrial Policy Committee has confirmed that the industrial system study foreseen for Gaia may not start (see details under 21 May 2001). The technical development of Gaia therefore remains on hold.



Science Programme Committee will Review ESA Science Programme
In view of the future funding of the ESA science programme resulting from the Ministerial meeting in November, the SPC will undertake a complete review of the programme, using the ESA scientific advisory structure. A mid-term review will be held in February 2002, with a revised programme to be approved in June 2002. The future of Gaia, approved as Cornerstone 6 in October 2000, is accordingly uncertain.



First Meeting of the Gaia Science Team
The Gaia Science Team, established after mission selection, met for the first time in ESTEC.



Scientific Organisation Meeting in ESTEC
A meeting of about 100 European scientists interested in participating in the preparations for the Gaia mission met at ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL, to discuss the organisation and planning of the scientific aspects of the mission.



European experts gather to prepare for Gaia
[From ESA Science]
About 100 European scientists are gathering in ESTEC over the next two days to consider plans for the scientific organisation of Gaia - ESA's ambitious mission to help unravel the origin and evolution of our Galaxy. Experts in general relativity, extra-solar planets, and a whole host of other relevant disciplines are coming together to pool their knowledge about how Gaia can best be organised.
[Read the article]



ESA scientist gives Goddard's 36th annual John C. Lindsay Memorial Lecture
[From ESA Science]
The 36th annual "John C. Lindsay Memorial Lecture" was delivered by ESA scientist Michael Perryman at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA. The lecture, on the "Three Dimensional Structure of our Galaxy", was based on the results from ESA's Hipparcos mission.
[Read the article]



Gaia Technical Activities Put On Hold
The Industrial Policy Committee (IPC) has not authorised the start of the industrial system study foreseen for Gaia. The technical development of Gaia is on-hold until further notice.



Gaia - a gift to the next generation of astronomers
[From ESA Science]
Dozens of young scientists from all over Europe have gathered this week at Les Houches in Savoie, France, for intensive briefings on ESA's next star-mapping satellite, Gaia. As the successor to the very successful Hipparcos space astrometry project, Gaia was approved last year as an ESA Cornerstone mission to be launched around 2012. Engaging the interest and participation of the next generation of astronomers will be vital for the project's success
. [Read the article]


13/05/2001 to 18/05/2001

Les Houches Summer School on Gaia
About 80 scientists, including young researchers new to the field of space astrometry, attended a Summer School at Les Houches, France. Senior European scientists presented lectures on many aspects of the Gaia mission and its expected scientific results. The objective of the School was to interest a new generation of astronomers in the mission. Proceedings (eds Olivier Bienayme & Catherine Turon) will be available early in 2002.


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