Gaia QM deployable sunshield set-up in the LSS
On 11 July the qualification model (QM) of Gaia's deployable sunshield was installed inside the Large Space Simulator (LSS) at ESTEC. Over the next days the set-up was finalized for the upcoming thermal vacuum/thermal balance (TV/TB) test, which is performed inside the LSS under simulated space conditions.
This overhead view of the test set-up in the LSS main vacuum chamber shows the QM sunshield during a dry-run deployment test as part of the preparations for the TV/TB test. The two parallel MLI blankets that form the thermal shields of the sunshield can be seen, with the Sun-side blanket behind the shadow-side blanket in this view.
Also visible are the three masts of the zero-g kit (used to simulate weightlessness) that stand in front of the assembly, with the three panels of the QM sunshield each attached to a pulley and counterweight system on the masts.
The LSS chamber was closed on 20 July for the start of the TV/TB test.