1.) ESA has published a new blog post in the Gaia blog – crunching some interesting numbers about and around the mission. Do you want to know how much the fuel for the Soyuz launcher will cost, or what the price for the observations of one star will be? Here is the answer: http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/10/31/some-gaia-numbers/.
Note, that each star will be observed about 70 times on the average. One observations – we call it transit – consists of 10 observations with 10 different CCDs – all in one row of the focal plane. Thus, there are about 700 observations with single CCDs for each star. This yields about 0.14 cent for each CCD observation of one star. But then there are additional observations with blue-sensitive and red-sensitive CCDs, but this is getting too complicated now … 😉
2.) There is a very interesting interview with Isabelle Decenclos, Astrium QA engineer of the Gaia satellite, in the latest edition of the magazin “Espace & Exploration”. Take a look behind the scenes and download this interview at the blog website of Isabelle:
Hint: There is a lot of other information about the Gaia mission on her blog!!! For instance this very new info-poster about the mission: http://reves-d-espace.com/2013/10/31/gaia-infographic/.
3.) About the Gaia spacecraft itself there is no real news. It is in storage in a cleanroom at the European launch base in Kourou waiting for the arrival of the repaired transponders from Italy.