European Space Agency

The European Space Agency Selects Aspera to Distribute Astronomical Data Captured by the Gaia Mission

High-speed Aspera FASP® transfers Enable Collaboration Between Geographically Dispersed Data Processing Teams


The European Space Agency (ESA) aims to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. In addition to exploring Earth and the immediate space environment, Solar System and Universe, ESA develops satellite-based technologies and services. 

In 2013, ESA initiated one of its most ambitious missions to date: the Gaia satellite. Over the course of five years, Gaia will orbit L2 (Lagrange point 2) to chart a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way Galaxy, revealing its composition, formation and evolution. Gaia is designed to provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracy needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. The Gaia project will generate the largest, most precise 3D map of our Galaxy ever created by surveying an unprecedented 1% of its population of 100 billion stars.

ESA deployed Aspera’s high-speed file transfer technology to distribute the vast pools of data garnered from Gaia to geographically dispersed data processing centers (DPCs) across Europe that are coordinated by the Data Processing & Analysis Consortium (DPAC), a collaboration of over 15 countries that consists of expert scientists and software developers responsible for the processing of Gaia's data. Reliable, high-performance transfers powered by Aspera’s patented FASP® technology reduce transfer times and promote collaboration between these Data Processing Centers.  


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