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Gaia Satellite Lift-Off on Dec. 19 Marks Historic Mission to Create 3D Map of the Universe; High-Performance Caché Database System to Process Tens of Thousands of Data Objects Per Second  

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec 20, 2013 — InterSystems, a global provider of advanced technologies for breakthrough applications, today announced that the European Space Agency (ESA) is using the InterSystems Caché® high-performance database system to meet the Big Data challenge of scientific data processing for the Gaia mission. This mission’s aim is to map the Milky Way with unprecedented precision.

The Gaia satellite, which lifted off successfully on December 19, will capture data on 1 billion stars in our galaxy and create a 3D map of the universe, revealing new insights on how the Milky Way was formed.

Gaia will complete 10 full sweeps of the sky over five years, recording with high accuracy the position, movement, and changes in the brightness of stars. It is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects, from extrasolar planets to brown dwarfs. Gaia will see up to 1 million asteroids and comets in our solar system.

Because of the high volume of data that will be collected and analyzed by ESA, the mission requires extremely high database performance. The European Space Astronomy Center, which ESA operates in Madrid, selected InterSystems Caché to handle some of the massive processing requirements for satellite research data.

William O’Mullane, Scientific Operations Manager of the Gaia mission for ESA, stated, “With Caché, we achieve considerably superior performance and scalability than is possible with other database systems.  We are able to store tens of thousands of Java objects per second directly into Caché and maintain the ability to execute SQL queries on the data.”

Jordi Calvera, Country Manager of InterSystems Iberia, added, “The Gaia mission is considered the largest data processing project ever undertaken in astronomy. InterSystems Caché is uniquely capable of meeting the needs of the most demanding Big Data projects that have exceptionally high data volume, velocity and variety. We are delighted by ESA’s decision to partner with our company.”

For up-to-the-minute information on the Gaia mission’s progress, please visit the ESA blog at

About the European Space Agency

The ESA was formed by 18 Member States.  Coordination of its members’ economic and intellectual resources allows it to venture in a broader array of activities and programmes than those which any European country may individually undertake. Its purpose is to elaborate and implement the development of European space capacity and guarantee that the investment in space activities shall continue to provide benefits to the citizens of Europe. For additional information, please visit

About InterSystems

InterSystems is a global software leader with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 25 countries. InterSystems provides advanced technologies for breakthrough applications. InterSystems Caché® is an extremely fast and massively scalable database system. InterSystems Ensemble® is a platform for rapid integration and the development of connectable applications. InterSystems DeepSee® and InterSystems iKnow® are technologies for conducting real-time active analytics with structured and unstructured data. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Catherine Marenghi
(617) 225-3179