Herschel and Planck gear up for 14 May launch




ESA's two missions to probe the far reaches of the Universe are gearing up to launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana on 14 May.


The two satellites, Herschel and Planck, will share a ride aboard the same Ariane 5 rocket. Shortly after launch they will separate and follow different trajectories to the second Lagrangian point of our Solar System, 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.


Both missions’ instruments have completed their final checkouts, and the spacecrafts’ thruster tanks have been fueled.


Planck will be dedicated to answering fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe by peering back to just 400,000 years after the Big Bang gave birth to existence. It will spend at least 15 months mapping the cosmic microwave background, light from the primordial soup of particles that eventually evolved to become our modern-day Universe.

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One response to “Herschel and Planck gear up for 14 May launch”

Unknown said...
May 10, 2009 at 3:34 AM

Thank you for your interesting post.

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