Transparent rendering of Gaia's service module, showing the troublesome X-band transponders at upper right (Photo: ESA)
Gaia mapping the stars of the Milky Way (Photo: ESA/ATG medialab; background image: ESO/S. Brunier)
Exploded view of the Gaia spacecraft, showing the troublesome transponders near the bottom (Photo: EADS Astrium)
Gaia's billion-pixel focal plane sensor (Photo: Astrium)
Layout of Gaia's billion-pixel focal plane sensor (Photo: ESA - Alexander Short)
Gaia's phased-array antenna and communications module (Photo: ESA)
The Gaia mission to map a billion stars in the Milky Way has been delayed for about two months by the European Space Agency. Problems in X-band transponders used in other satellites have begun to appear, and the ESA has decided to replace those modules prior to launching. The likely blastoff date will be in late December of this year.
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