As you know there will one important launch later this year – the launch of Gaia by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, planned for December 19. For us there will be another important rocket launch a few days later – on December 23. Assuming that the weather cooperates a Soyuz-Fregat model will be launched just a few minutes before the premiere of the new planterium show “Journey to a billion suns”. This movie is dedicated to the Gaia mission and will take you through time and history, explain basic technologies of star mapping. It will take you on a fascinating journey along the numerous features of our Milky Way. The premiere of the show will be held at the planetarium of the Centre d’ Observació de l’ Univers (COU) near Ager in Catalonia with several guests from science and politics. Normally I would do this launch but unfortunately I will not be able to attend.
But we found a very good solution. As you may know we had a few launches with the Gaia Universitat de Barcelona (UB) including a live transmission of launches. Thus, some members of the team have already some experience with these kind of stuff. The most experienced one, Josep Manel, volunteered to perform this important model launch at the show premiere. We decided to practice a bit, and as the weather was perfect last weekend, Josep Manel did perform a real Soyuz-Fregat model launch:
Everything went very smoothly, no issues at all. It was a nice family event under a picture-perfect blue sky.
By the way, this was our first launch of a Soyuz-Fregat model showing the Gaia launch fairing. The design of the logo was just published one week ago by ESA. Lucky me that I did not had to perform the launch. Being a little bit superstitious I promised to myself not to perform a launch with model showing the Gaia logo before the real launch of Gaia. I kept my promise. 😉
More about these model rocket activities you can find in this section: https://hvossgaia.wordpress.com/scale-model-rocketry/.