In September 2016 the ESA space mission Gaia completed 1000 days of observations and crowned this period with a first release of positions, magnitudes, parallaxes and proper motions on 2 million stars and positions and magnitudes of over 1 billion stars and other objects in the celestial sky. This data set in one swoop increased the number of objects with precise distances by an order of magnitude and allowed us to reliably catalogue objects in the sky with a confidence previously unattainable. This is only the beginning: Gaia will observe for at least 3 more years and will find distances, colours and motions of over 2 billion objects and infer many physical parameters such as age, composition, temperature and mass for many of those objects. It will be a game changer. We discuss the mission, first results and the possibilities for the future.