Latest Herschel Space Observatory Stories

2009-06-05 09:45:00

Beginning today, ESA's Planck satellite will carry out a critical mid-course maneuver that will place the satellite on its final trajectory for arrival at L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, early in July. The maneuver is scheduled to begin at 19:28 CEST on June 5 2009, and will last for up to 30 hours. Planck's main thrusters will conduct repeated 'pulse burns' during this time, switching on then off for 6 seconds every minute. This pulse-burn technique is necessary...

2009-05-27 14:53:54

A telescope designed by a University of Miami physicist and an international team of collaborators has produced the clearest images of starburst galaxies, revealing a new picture of the universe in its early stages People have always wondered where we, our Earth, our galaxy, come from. A group of scientists has now driven that quest one step further and taken a peak at how the stars that gave rise to most of the material found on our universe formed over cosmic history. University of Miami...

2009-05-21 14:06:58

The European Space Agency says the commissioning of scientific instruments and subsystems aboard its Herschel and Planck spacecraft has started. The two space observatories were lifted into orbit aboard an Ariane 5 rocket last week from the French spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana. Scientists said Herschel and Planck were functioning nominally and are now en route to their final orbits around the second Lagrange point, a spot in space know as L2, approximately 932,000 miles from Earth....

2009-05-21 07:55:00

After a perfect injection by the Ariane 5 launcher on May 14, the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) for Herschel and Planck has started to wind down, while commissioning of the scientific instruments and subsystems on both spacecraft has begun. Herschel and Planck are functioning nominally and are now en route to their final orbits around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system (L2), a point in space 1.5 million kms from Earth on the night-side.  The additional...

2009-05-14 09:13:22

The European Space Agency's Herschel and Planck satellites went into space Thursday aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the French spaceport in French Guiana. The dual space telescopes were headed toward a spot called L2 -- the second Lagrange point -- where they will operate in different orbits. L2 is a local gravitational point that is fixed in the Earth-sun system and is situated on Earth's night side, the ESA said. It is an excellent location for both Herschel and Planck; it allows them to...

2009-05-14 10:10:00

Ground crews at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana celebrated the successful tandem launch of the Herschel and Planck satellites aboard an Ariane 5 ECA heavy rocket on Thursday.The rocket, carrying the payload of the two scientific space observatories, left the launch center in Kourou on the northeast coast of South America at 10.12 am (1312 GMT).The satellites established their first contact with Earth about 10 minutes after the launch and are expected to separate from the rocket in order...

2009-05-13 11:58:28

The European Space Agency says the Ariane 5 rocket that will carry the Herschel and Planck satellites into space has been declared ready for launch. The Arianespace declaration followed a Saturday launch readiness review and a final close-out review conducted Tuesday. Liftoff is scheduled for 9:12 a.m. EDT Thursday from the French spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Herschel Science Center at the California Institute of Technology and U.S....

2009-05-11 12:35:00

There's a buzz in the Main Control Room as the launch of Herschel and Planck gets closer. The two satellites are scheduled to launch together at 15:12 CEST, May 14, on an Ariane 5 from ESA's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Several critical events are planned leading up to and after launch. After launch, Herschel and Planck will be headed to L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, where they will operate from independent orbits. L2 is a local gravitational point that is...

2009-05-08 14:11:21

The European Space Agency is gearing up for this month's launch of two of the most sophisticated astronomical spacecraft ever built, the Herschel and Planck telescopes. The instruments will orbit deep space around a special observation point beyond the Moon's orbit in a revolutionary campaign that will help scientists better understand the history of the Universe. The two missions are among the most ambitious ever carried out by Europe. Herschel, considered the largest far-infrared space...

2009-05-05 15:32:59

The European Space Agency says the world premier of its digital show Touching the Edge of the Universe is planned this month at 30 European planetariums. Thursday's premier at planetariums in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is planned just days before the May 14 scheduled launch of the ESA's Herschel and Planck spacecraft -- two of the missions described in the program. Touching the Edge of the Universe tells the story of astronomy from the time of Galileo and his simple optical telescope to...

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