GAIA is intended to be launched in December 2011. The objective of this satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) is to create the largest three dimensional chart of the stars of our Galaxy with unprecedented accuracy. The spacecraft will be placed in a Lissajous-type orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 Lagragian point.
Though available information was very limited, we have studied the motion and the attitude of GAIA over its mission lifetime. We have analysed the orbit of the satellite around L2 and detailed further the amount of Sunlight reaching the spacecraft. Then, we have performed a numerical integration of the motion of the satellite and compared the result with the orbit obtained from the linearized equations of motion. Moreover, the behaviour of the satellite, governed by its scanning law, has been described by means of Euler's angles. We also computed the matrix of inertia of GAIA. Eventually, we have emphasized the above work thanks to a 3D animation video showing the orbit and behaviour of GAIA. This chanllenge has been achieved with the Blender software.