Photos: Gaia Spacecraft to Map Milky Way Galaxy

Soyuz VS06 Raised into Vertical Position

ESA–M. Pedoussaut

Soyuz VS06 was rolled out horizontally on its erector from the preparation building to the launch zone and then raised into the vertical position on Dec. 14, 2013. The image was released Dec. 15, 2013.

Hoisting of Upper Composite

ESA–M. Pedoussaut

The Soyuz VS06 upper composite, Gaia space observatory, was transferred to the pad and installed inside the mobile gantry on Dec. 14, 2013. The image was released Dec. 15, 2013.

Soyuz VS06 Upper Composite

ESA–M. Pedoussaut

This image shows the Soyuz VS06 upper composite, Gaia space observatory, transferred to the pad and installed inside the mobile gantry on Dec. 14, 2013. The image was released Dec. 15, 2013.

Upper Composite Installed Inside Mobile Gantry

ESA–M. Pedoussaut

This image shows the Soyuz VS06 upper composite, Gaia space observatory, transferred to the pad and installed inside the mobile gantry on Dec. 14, 2013. The image was released Dec. 15, 2013.

Europe's Gaia Spacecraft Blasts Off

ESA–S. Corvaja, 2013

A Soyuz-Fregat rocket carrying the European Space Agency's galaxy-mapping Gaia probe launches from French Guiana on Dec. 19, 2013.

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