Gaia in the UK

Taking the Galactic Census

Why Gaia?

In the mid 1990s a project proposal which led eventually to the current mission Gaia had the name GAIA: Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics. As the study developed interferometry was replaced by the current design, but the name remained appreciated and historically relevant. Gaia the Greek great mother goddess of the Earth, child of Aether and Chaos,  parent of the sky, remains as the mission name. Like other missions named after individuals (Hubble, Herschel, Planck …) there is no acronym, merely connotations and associations. Gaia it is.