Gaia is creating a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way, in the process revealing information about its composition, formation and evolution. The mission performs positional measurements for about one billion stars in our Galaxy and Local Group with unprecedented precision, together with radial velocity measurements for the brightest 150 million objects.
Gaia is equipped with a total of three communication antennas, two LGAs (Low Gain Antennas) and a single X-band Medium Gain Phased Array Antenna. One LGA is located pointing in the +X direction while the other points to –X being located on the Thermal Tent and the base of the spacecraft, respectively. The two LGAs build an omni-direction communications system for housekeeping telemetry downlink and command uplink with data rates of a few kbit/s.
The MGA (Medium Gain Antenna) is located on the base of the Payload Module, protruding the DSA(Deployable Sunshield Assembly) . This directional antenna can achieve data rates of up to 10 Mbit/s for science data and telemetry downlink and telecommand reception.
Signal received on the 18th February 2014:
Signal received on the 7th January 2014:
Signal received on the 27th December 2013:
Signal received on the 22nd December 2013:
Signal received on the 20th December 2013: