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In October 2000, the GAIA astrometric mission was approved as one of the next two "cornerstones" of ESA's science programme, with a launch date target of 2010-12. GAIA will provide positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars throughout our Galaxy (and into the Local Group), amounting to about 1 per cent of the Galactic stellar population. GAIA's main scientific goal is to clarify the origin anddoi:10.1051/eas:2002001 fatcat:ikthcmdnknhu7d7vzjoyzco5yq