Gaia spacecraft of the European Space Agency launched successfully on its mission to study billions of stars.
The mission is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. By making accurate measurements of the positions and motions of 1% of the total population of roughly 100 billion stars, it will answer questions about the origin and evolution of our home Galaxy.
Gaia mission blasted off this morning (Dec 19) on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. More information here.