Planck Arrives at Launch Pad

Planck coming off plane The Planck spacecraft in its transport container, in preparation for a flight to Rochambeau airport, French Guiana. Image credit: ESA
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March 03, 2009

The Planck spacecraft has arrived at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana, where it is scheduled to be launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket on April 16. The spacecraft arrived from Belgium via an Antonov An-124 cargo plane on Feb. 19. It will be launched with the Herschel spacecraft, though the two missions will separate shortly after launch and operate independently from each other.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission, with significant participation from NASA. NASA's Planck Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. NASA contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck's science instruments. U.S. and European Planck scientists will work together to analyze the Planck data.

U.S. Planck mission Web site:

ESA Web site:

Ariane site:

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