World's most powerful satellite launched to map billions of stars

Most powerful satellite successfully launched into space. Credit: Astrium/EADS

The world's most powerful satellite was successfully launched into space this morning. Over the next five years GAIA will create a 3D map of a billion stars in the Milky Way.

Much of the technology on board was designed and built by Astium in Stevenage. The satellite has the most advanced camera ever sent into space. With one billion mega pixels it is able to measure things 40,000 times more feint than the human eye can see.

Pictures from Astrium and EADS company: