What the Gaia mission operations team at ESOC have waited to see!
The bottom image shows the tracking station signal being received from ESA's 15m Perth station, Australia; loud and clear. ESA is now in contact with the Gaia spacecraft in flight.
And the two hard-working, blurry gentlemen? That's Gaia Flight Director Andreas Rudolph, at left, and ESA's Head of Mission Operations, Paolo Ferri, at right.
Image showing the signal level at ESA's Perth tracking station, now in contact with Gaia. Credit: ESA