Herschel and Planck Almost Ready for Liftoff

Artist concept of the rocket carrying Herschel and Planck Artist concept of the rocket carrying Herschel and Planck. Image credit: ESA
› Full image and caption
  • submit to reddit

May 12, 2009

Two missions to study our cosmic roots, Herschel and Planck, are stacked atop the same Ariane 5 rocket, waiting to blast into space. Their launch is scheduled for 6:12 a.m. Pacific Time on May 14, from Kourou, French Guiana. The missions are led by the European Space Agency, with significant participation from NASA. For regular Web updates, and to view the launch online, visit www.esa.int/herschelplanck .

While Herschel and Planck have spent their youths together, they will soon be on their own. Shortly after launch, the two spacecraft will separate from their rocket and take independent paths to the second Lagrange point of our Earth-sun system. Once there, they will still be neighbors, following similar orbits around the sun, but their eyes will be set on different aspects of the cosmos. This chart helps explain the missions' roles.

Media contact: Whitney Clavin 1-818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

Images

comparison of Herschel and Planck

This is part of a chart that compares Herschel and Planck. Click here for a full chart or a PDF.

enlarge image

Herschel and Planck launch vehicle

Herschel and Planck await their May 14, 2009, launch. Image credit: ESA

enlarge image



A montage of images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope over the years. NASA's Spitzer Telescope Celebrates 10 Years in Space

› Read more

100 Days, 100 Nights in Space NuSTAR Celebrates First 100 Days

› Read more

NASA's NuSTAR and its rocket drop from the carrier NASA's NuSTAR Mission Lifts Off

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates