Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 7:54 EDT
Herschel and Planck launch configuration
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Herschel and Planck launch configuration

May 24, 2009
Herschel will launch on an Ariane rocket from the Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in Spring 2009. It will shared the launch with ESA's Planck microwave observatory. The two vehicles will separate shortly after launch and proceed independently to different orbits around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system (L2). The launcher will burn its solid boosters for just under 2.5 minutes and its main and upper stage engines for about 25 minutes setting Herschel and then Planck on the path to L2.