News 2011

 

07/12/2011

Sunshield deployment test successfully completed
Gaia has passed a critical test: the spacecraft sunshield has been deployed successfully. During October 2011, the Flight Model (FM) Deployable Sunshield Assembly (DSA) was delivered to Astrium and integrated with the FM Service Module and Thermal Tent and a mass-representative model of the payload module. Once integrated, the first deployment test of the DSA mounted on the spacecraft took place in Astrium on 21 October. This test demonstrated correctness of alignment, confirmed the deployment functionality and verified the flatness of the deployed DSA. For more information, visit the Science & Technology and ESA web pages.

 

27/10/2011

Release of the new issue of the DPAC Newsletter
The DPAC Newsletter no. 14 is now available. In this issue you will learn more about the hardship Gaia will go through before it gets qualified for a real flight into space, the qualification of DPAC software, etc. For more information, visit the following link.

 

24/10/2011

Vacancy notice: Gaia postdoctoral position at MPIA (Heidelberg)
The MPIA has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher to work on preparations for the analysis and scientific exploitation of the Gaia data. The deadline for applications is 10 December 2011. For more information, visit the following web page.

 

21/10/2011

First Soyuz liftoff from the French Guiana
Soyuz lifts off successfully for the first time from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana with the same configuration as for the Gaia launch in 2013. This time, it has carried the first two Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites. ESA press release can be found here.

 

21/10/2011

Vacancy notice: Java software engineer at the University of Barcelona
The Gaia team at the University of Barcelona (UB) has a vacant position for an engineer, preferably computer or telecom to develop and maintain software for simulations, massive processing and scientific data mining for the Gaia mission. Click here for more information.

 

20/10/2011

Vacancy notice: Scientific researcher/Software developer at Lohrmann Observatory, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Lohrmann Observatory invites applications for a position to work in the field of astrometric solution for Gaia. Click here for more information. The evaluation of the applications will start on 16 November 2011, but later applications will be considered until a suitable candidate is identified.

 

07/10/2011

e2v celebrates the successful delivery of imaging sensors for Gaia
On Thursday 6th October, e2v was joined by representatives from the European Space Agency (ESA), Astrium SAS (the prime contractor for Gaia), key suppliers and local dignitaries for a celebration at their headquarters in Chelmsford, UK, to mark the successful delivery of over 150 e2v imaging sensors for Gaia. For more information, visit e2v and BBC pages.

 

15/09/2011

Gaia mirrors ready to shine
Gaia has passed another major milestone after the completion of 10 state-of-the-art mirrors. The integration of the last two mirrors is now ongoing. For more information, visit the ESA Science & Technology pages.

 

12/09/2011

New PhD studentship available at the IoA (Cambridge)
A new opening for a GREAT PhD position at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, has become available. The closing date for applications is 30 Sep 2011 and the start of the 3-year position would be January 2012. Further details can be found at the following link.

 

01/09/2011

Gaia Payload Module vibration testing completed
In late June, mechanical testing of the Gaia Payload Module was performed at the facilities of Intespace in Toulouse, France, under the direction of the Prime Contractor, Astrium. The results have been analysed and the testing declared successfully completed. For more information, visit ESA SciTech pages.

 

08/08/2011

Vacancy notice: postdoctoral / engineering position at the Observatory of Paris - Meudon
The GEPI is seeking for a postdoctoral candidate / engineer + experience for software project management and development for the processing of spectroscopic data. The deadline for applications is 27 September 2011. For more information, visit the following web page.

 

25/07/2011

Release of the new issue of the DPAC Newsletter
The DPAC Newsletter no. 13 is now available. This summer issue brings in as usual the presentation of two DPAC participating institutes, in Spain and in Belgium. On the technical columns you will learn about the brand new Solar system ephemeris to be used for both the data processing and the spacecraft navigation and will discover how epoch radial velocities are unfolded from the RVS calibrated spectra. For more information, visit the following link.

 

20/07/2011

Vacancy notice: Gaia postdoctoral position at the MPIA (Heidelberg)
The MPIA is seeking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on preparations for the analysis and scientific exploitation of the Gaia data. The deadline for applications is 15 September 2011. For more information, visit the following web page.

 

06/07/2011

 Billion pixel Gaia camera starts to take shape
Another milestone in the development of Gaia was passed on 1 June when the 106 electronic detectors of its billion pixel camera were assembled like a large mosaic for the first time. More information also available in the ESA News web pages and in the ESA Science and Technology pages.

 

01/06/2011

Tycho Brahe prize for Prof. Michael Perryman
The European Astronomical Society (EAS) has announced that the 2011 Tycho Brahe Prize of the EAS has been awarded to Prof. Michael Perryman for his crucial role in the fostering of high precision, global stellar astrometry from space, in particular the development of the Hipparcos mission. Full details can be found in the EAS Press Release. More information also available in the ESA Science and Technology pages.

 

26/05/2011

Postdoctoral fellowships available at SIM (Laboratory for Systems, Instrumentation and Modelling), Lisbon
SIM is seeking postdoctoral fellows to strengthen their activities, in particular, astronomical instrumentation and data processing, planets, astrophysical exploitation of Gaia, namely in the fields of structure and evolution of the Milky Way, star clusters and stellar variability. For more information, visit the following web page. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2011.

 

10/05/2011

ESA hands over keys to Soyuz launch site
The official ceremony marking ESA's handover of the Soyuz launch site to Arianespace took place last Saturday at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, after the site was declared ready for the first flight and the completion of a simulated launch campaign (29 April - 5 May). This dry run ensured that the Soyuz and the new facilities work together perfectly, while allowing the teams to train under realistic launch conditions. It also validated all the procedures during the final phase before launch, except the fuelling of the vehicle. The vehicle was transferred from the preparation building to the launch zone and erected into the vertical position. The mobile gantry was then rolled out to the pad and the vehicle's upper composite, comprising the Fregat upper stage and payload fairing, was hoisted on top of the launcher. The campaign ended with a simulated liftoff and flight downrange. For more information, visit ESA web pages.

 

03/05/2011

Release of the new issue of the DPAC Newsletter
The DPAC Newsletter no. 12 is available from late last week and there you will find information about the new Soyuz dedicated launch site at the Guiana Space Centre (French Guiana), the current perfomances of the CU8 object classifiers or the independent sphere reconstruction currently developed by the Torino group. For more information, visit the following link.

 

18/04/2011

Successful completion of Mission Critical Design Review
The Gaia Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) was successfully completed on 13 April 2011. This review focused in particular on the interfaces between the spacecraft, the launcher, and the ground segment, involving both the Mission Operations Centre and the Science Operations Centre. The science-performance pages have been brought in line with the most recent performance predictions made by Astrium.

 

26/04/2011

Lennart Lindegren, Dr. Honoris Causa of the Observatory of Paris
Lennart Lindegren, Professor at Lund University, received the title of Dr. Honoris Causa of Observatory of Paris on the 14th April 2011 in recognition of more than 35 years of contributions to astrometry, and more generally, to astronomy. For more information, visit the Picture of the Week section.

 

15/04/2011

Soyuz launch site ready for first flight
The Soyuz site at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana is now ready for its first launch. ESA handed over the complex to Arianespace on the 31st March, marking a major step towards this year's inaugural flight. For more information, visit the following web page. There are also updated pictures in the Gaia image & movie gallery.

 

06/04/2011

Vacancy notice: post-doctoral position at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral position at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA) to work on Galactic Archaeology by means of high-resolution spectroscopic surveys of the Milky-Way stellar populations. The OCA is strongly involved in the preparation of the Gaia mission and the ground-based spectroscopic complementary survey (e.g. ESO-GAIA). The closing date for applications is May 10th, 2011. For more information, visit the following web page.

 

28/03/2011

Little Books of Gaia available in Hungarian
The Little Books of Gaia are summaries that cover different aspects of the Gaia mission (history of astrometry, search for planets, ...). They are now available also in Hungarian in the Educational material link (left hand menu).

 

07/03/2011

Call for Letters of Interest to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access
ESA invites groups in Member States, wishing to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access working group, to submit a Letter of Interest to ESA outlining their area of expertise and potential contribution. The deadline for submitting 'Letters of Interest to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access' is 15 April 2011. For more information visit the ESA Science & Technology website.

 

09/02/2011

Vacancy notice: PhD position in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Lund Observatory, Sweden
Lund Observatory invites applications for a new PhD position. The successful applicant will work on topics related to fundamental physics and space astrometry. Applicants with an interest in numerical simulations and astrometry are particularly encouraged to apply. More information and links to the online application forms are available here. The closing date for applications is March 31st, 2011.

 

31/01/2011

Release of the new issue of the DPAC Newsletter
The DPAC Newsletter no. 11 is now available and there you will find information about two key elements, one related to the sky modelling and the other to the data handling. For more information, visit the following link.

 

17/01/2011

Vacancy notice: Software Engineer/Scientific collaborator at the Lohrmann Observatory, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
The Lohrmann Observatory invites applications for a position to work on the preparation for the Gaia data processing. The successful candidate will participate and take responsibilities in the development of algorithms and software for relativistic modeling and testing relativity with astrometric data. Click here for more information. The evaluation of the applications will start on 16 February 2011, but later applications will be considered until a suitable candidate is identified.

 

14/01/2011

New Gaia logo
The new Gaia logo is now available for download in the Image & Movie gallery. The change of the Gaia logo is part of an ESA corporate identity process with new logos for all missions. The new logo can be used in documents and presentations or for any other outreach purposes. There is no need to update old material.


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