Multilateral agreements signed at SPC meeting
29 November 2013Multilateral agreements for Euclid and Gaia have been signed at the Science Programme Committee meeting, held on 28 November 2013 at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France.
The Euclid MLA provides the legal framework for the provision of the scientific instruments and their elements for the Euclid payload, and the legal framework for part of the Science Ground Segment for Euclid.
This agreement is between the European Space Agency and the funding agencies of the eleven European countries participating in the Euclid Mission Consortium: the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italy); the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (France); the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany); the Danish Space Research Institute (Denmark); the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Space Office (Portugal); the Ministerio de Economía y Competividad (Spain); the Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie (The Netherlands); the Norwegian Space Centre (Norway); the Romanian Space Agency (Romania); the United Kingdom Space Agency (UK); and the University of Helsinki (Finland). Switzerland participates via PRODEX.
The infrared sensors for the Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Photometry Instrument (NISP) will be provided by NASA in line with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in January 2013.
To be launched in 2020, Euclid's 1.2 m-diameter telescope and two scientific instruments will map the shape, brightness and 3D distribution of two billion galaxies covering more than a third of the whole sky and looking back over three-quarters of the history of the Universe.
In addition, a revised MLA for Gaia has been signed. The Gaia MLA defines the terms and conditions governing the commitment of each party to Gaia data processing. The revised agreement adds the Archive Access Coordination Unit (known as CU9) to the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) – the body of scientists who have been entrusted with the data processing and analysis for the Gaia mission. CU9 will be responsible, along with the Gaia Science Operations Centre, for providing a repository for Gaia data products as well as access tools to maximise the scientific exploitation of the Gaia data set.
The data processing ground segment is a fundamental element of the mission, which will conduct an astrometric survey of 1 billion stars – approximately 1 per cent of the stellar populations of our Galaxy, the Milky Way - after launch from Kourou in December.