Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Herschel telescope and Planck satellite to lift off May 6

The largest mirror to be launched in space is the Herschel telescope's primary mirror.
Provided by ESA, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Guyana Space Center
View of the Technical Center (CT) of the Guyana Space Center (CSG), Europe's Spaceport. Located some 9 miles (14 km) east from the Ariane Launch Complexes, the CT incorporates all the CSG headquarters as well as managing and control facilities, including the Jupiter Mission Control Center, the full-scale Ariane 5 mock-up, and the initial S1 Payload Processing Facility (EPCU) for satellite checkout.
ESA - S. Corvaja
April 9, 2009
With the additional checks related to the flight worthiness of the Herschel telescope now completed, ESA and Arianespace have set the launch date of Herschel and Planck for May 6, 2009.

The Herschel telescope's primary mirror, the largest ever to be launched in space, is a novel and advanced concept using 12 silicon carbide petals brazed together into a single piece. It is one of the major technological highlights of the mission.

Planck will provide a major source of information relevant to several cosmological and astrophysical issues, such as testing theories of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure.

Herschel and Planck will start their journey in space on board an Ariane 5 departing from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The final preparations for launch that had been suspended temporarily will now be resumed — fueling the two satellites and filling the Herschel cryostat with helium.

After launch, Planck and Herschel will separate and will be placed in different orbits around the second Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun System.
0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...