Gaia spacecraft with deployable sunshield array, at the launch site in Kourou
The Gaia spacecraft, with the framework of the Deployable Sunshield Assembly (DSA), in the S1B cleanroom at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Gaia spacecraft was flown on an Antonov transport plane from Toulouse Blagnac airport in France to Félix Eboué airport in French Guiana on 23 August 2013. The DSA arrived five days later.
In Kourou, the DSA framework is installed on the spacecraft, covered in multi-layer insulation and the solar panels attached. Once the DSA deployment mechanism has been tested the DSA will be stowed against the spacecraft body in the flight configuration.
The Prime Contractor for Gaia is Astrium SAS, based in Toulouse, France. SENER (Spain) is responsible for the development and manufacture of the Deployable Sunshield Assembly. The thermal blankets are provided by RUAG Aerospace Austria and the carbon fibre frames come from RUAG Aerospace Switzerland.