Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 19:30 EDT
Herschel-Plancks launch configuration
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Herschel-Planck’s launch configuration

March 5, 2009
Herschel will launch on an Ariane-5 rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, in spring 2009. It will be launched in tandem wiith ESA's Planck spacecraft. The two vehicles will separate shortly after launch and proceed independently to different orbits around the second Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system, or L2. The Ariane-5 launcher will burn its solid boosters for slightly less than 2.5 minutes and its main and upper stage engines for about 25 minutes to inject Herschel and then Planck into their transfer trajectories bound for L2.