…. and now the hard work begins! Herschel is in good shape, and continues on its way to the L2 point. Most activities for the next six days involve spacecraft maneuvering and on-board checks – by the 18th, the telescope will already have cooled down to 175 K. The first instrument to be activated, SPIRE, will come on line on the 22nd and will undergo a battery of tests supervised by the Operations Team that will be travelling to the Mission Operations Center (MOC) in Darmstadt next week. HIFI and PACS follow in terms of activation on May 25th and 30th, respectively.
The really big day arrives on June 17th – the cryocover opens, and we obtain our first ‘real’ observations during the Commissioning Phase. Prior to that, all the instruments were looking at the interior surface of the cryocover lid. Busy, busy times ahead….
Andrew Jaffe from the Planck team has posted on the Planck blog about viewing the launch at Kourou (and has some rather nice pics!.
Apart from the event at RAL, Cardiff also hosted a launch party.
I’ll be posting pics from the RAL event online later today.
EDIT: A replay of the launch is available from the ESA multimedia page.