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Gaia liftoff timeline

Gaia liftoff timeline

18 December 2013

Find below an outline timeline for the launch of Gaia on 19 December 2013. See notes below table for details. All times subject to change. Follow the launch live via ESA TV, starting 08:50 GMT (09:50 CET).

Timeline 19 December 2013

Soyuz VS06 transfer to launch zone. Credit: ESA - M. Pedoussaut

Gaia will be launched on a Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It will be operated by teams at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.

Once in orbit and during normal operations, ESA's most powerful ground stations – the 35 m-diameter Deep Space Antennas at Cebreros (Spain) and New Norcia (Australia) – will relay information to and from the spacecraft.

Science operations will be conducted from ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre, Villafranca, Spain.
 

Date GMT CET MET (hrs:min) Event
18-Dec 19:12 20:12 -14:00 ESOC countdown start
18-Dec 20:12 21:12 -13:00 Gaia switched ON
19-Dec 03:12 04:12 -06:00 Network countdown start
19-Dec 07:12 08:12 -02:00 Shift handover in Main Control Room (B- to A-team); handover briefing 15 min before
19-Dec 08:22 09:22 -00:50 Roll Call: voice roll call on the briefing intercom loop
19-Dec 08:57 09:57 -00:15 Gaia switched to internal power
19-Dec 09:02 10:02 -00:10 Final ESOC GO/NOGO
19-Dec 09:10 10:10 -00:03 Umbilical disconnect
19-Dec 09:12 10:12 00:00 Lift-off (H0)
19-Dec 09:14 10:14 00:02 First stage separation
19-Dec 09:16 10:16 00:04 Fairing separation
Aerodynamic fairing no longer needed once above the atmosphere
19-Dec 09:17 10:17 00:05 Second stage separation
19-Dec 09:21 10:21 00:09 Upper stage (Gaia+Fregat composite) separation
19-Dec 09:25 10:25 00:10 Fregat first burn
About 76 sec
19-Dec 09:33 10:33 00:13 Fregat coast phase
About 9 min
19-Dec 09:49 10:49 00:21 Fregat second burn
About 15 min 34 sec
19-Dec 09:51 10:51 00:39 Acquisition of signal from Fregat (via Perth Station, Australia)
19-Dec 09:54 10:54 00:42 Gaia separation from Fregat (H0 + 00:42:00)
Start of the on-board automated sequence
Acquisition of signal from Gaia (via Perth Station, Australia)
19-Dec 09:57 10:57 00:45 Exact separation time reported to Flight Director
19-Dec 10:12 11:12 01:00 Switch to X-band tracking in Perth Station
19-Dec 10:42 11:42 01:30 Official separation fax from Arianespace - includes launch vehicle details and orbital parameters
19-Dec 13:12 14:12 04:00 Preliminary orbit assessment by ESA Flight Dynamics
23-Dec 09:12 10:12 96:00 End of Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP)

 NOTE

  • All times are forecast only and subject to change
  • Times shown in italics are approximate
  • MET: Mission elapsed time as counted at ESOC
  • CET: Central European Time (winter)
  • Timeline sources: ESA

(This article was originally published on ESA's Operations Portal)

Last Update: 1 September 2019
5-Dec-2020 03:10 UT

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