Gaia is a global space astrometry mission. Its goal is to make the largest, most precise three-dimensional map of our Galaxy by surveying an unprecedented number of stars - more than a thousand million.
Gaia will conduct a census of a thousand million stars in our Galaxy, monitoring each of its target stars about 70 times over a five-year period. It will precisely chart their positions, distances, movements, and changes in brightness. It is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects, such as extra-solar planets and failed stars called brown dwarfs. Within our own Solar System, Gaia should also observe hundreds of thousands of asteroids.
Gaia is currently being prepared in Toulouse and expected to be shipped to Kourou this summer for its flight on top of a Soyuz launcher from Europe's Space port in French Guiana.
This video explains Gaia's mission with interviews with Giuseppe Sarri, Gaia Project Manager, ESA and Timo Prusti, Gaia Project Scientist, ESA.