Latest Planck Stories
WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two missions to study the cosmos, the Herschel and Planck spacecraft, are scheduled to blast into space May 14 aboard the same Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.
The European Space Agency's Herschel and Planck spacecraft are fueled and awaiting launch, with U.S.
The European Space Agency says it has set the liftoff date for its twin satellites, Herschel and Planck, from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The ESA said additional checks on the Ariane 5 ECA launcher have been completed, allowing Arianespace and ESA to schedule the launch for May 14. Herschel and Planck have already been fueled with hydrazine.
Now that additional checks on the Ariane 5 ECA launcher have been completed, Arianespace and ESA have set the launch date of Herschel and Planck for Thursday May 14.
Tests conducted on Planck at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, have confirmed that the satellite's subsystems work perfectly, and the helium dilution cooler tanks have now been filled.
About two weeks ago, Herschel was weighed to record its dry mass before the satellite was fuelled with 256 kg of liquid hydrazine. After switching it on to confirm normal function, engineers integrated the fuelled satellite with the Ariane 5 adapter.
The European Space Agency on Monday announced a short delay of the Herschel and Planck telescopes to give ESA and Arianespace additional time to complete final and independent checks.
Over the past few weeks, the upper part of Planckâ€™s outer solar array has been covered with multi-layer insulation, the satellite has been prepared for upcoming helium filling operations, several sub-system functional tests have been carried out and it has undergone final cleaning before launch.
Herschelâ€™s three scientific instruments have passed their functional tests and are 'good to go'. This marks another milestone in the steady progress being made in preparing the satellite for launch.
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.
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) -- The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched on June 30, 2001 at 3:46 p.m. EDT at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA. The goal of WMAP was to map out minute differences in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation which would help test theories of the nature of the universe. On February 11, 2003, the public relations group from NASA made a press release regarding the age and composition of the universe....
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