1.) Today the design of the fairing logo for the Gaia launch was revealed by ESA in the official ESA Gaia blog showing a girl pointing to the stars among other things. It looks like a drawing by a kid, and actually it is exactly that. Please read the interesting story here: http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/12/03/the-story-of-our-fairing-logo/.
Everybody seems to like this design. Hopefully it is inspiring many kids to have some more looks into the night sky and eventually setting the basis for wishing to start a future career in science or related topics.
Our team at the Universitat the Barcelona was displaying the fairing logo on one of our Soyuz-Fregat models during the our press event yesterday as you can see in the image below. For more details about this event see my blog post from yesterday.
The journalist really liked the design of the logo and thus it got some short TV appearances in Spain already.
As often I have a crazy idea. Could one of the stars converted into a comet by adding a tail? Comet ISON made some nice headlines during recent weeks. And a comet is also a good connection to the Christmas story for a launch almost on Christmas. The logos are printed already I know. Changes are impossible. But I heard that there is a tradition that staff at the launch base is signing the fairing of Russian launchers before launch. This may be a good opportunity to add a tail to one of the stars on logo! Kourou staff can you hear me? 😉
More details about the logo and its appearances in different forms in Kourou you can read in this blog post: http://reves-d-espace.com/2013/12/04/gaia-le-logo-pour-le-lancement/.
Personal remark: I got aware of this logo by being told that the logo with the girl will be used for the fairing. At that point I had not seen this logo yet and was thinking more on a more traditional logo like that: https://hvossgaia.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/girlsonrockets1.jpeg. But I like the progress made during the last decades! 😉
2.) There is a very interesting blog post about the transfer of Gaia to the next processing facility in Kourou. In different images and videos you can see almost all details about this transport to the fueling facility. The fueling operations are underway these days. Please have a look on this phantastic article here: http://reves-d-espace.com/2013/12/02/gaia-transfert-remplissage/.
Update: There is now an English version of this post published on the official ESA Gaia blog: http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/12/05/gaia-ready-for-fuelling/.