Posts Tagged ‘Herschel’

Counting down…

April 15, 2009

Herschel was fueled with hydrazine over the Easter weekend and it has now been mated with the rocket payload adaptor. It’s now being topped up with liquid helium and the helium is being pumped on to turn it into superfluid helium-II.

These are all things you only do when you’re very sure you’re going to launch. Among other things hydrazine is a really nasty chemical which you don’t mess with if you can possibly avoid it.

May 6th launch is thus looking pretty solid…


Herschel on the Sky At Night

April 2, 2009

A heads up for those in the UK – The Sky at Night is showing an episode dedicated to Herschel this Sunday:

It is repeated on BBC Four and on i-Player too. For non-UK readers, the programme should be available online on the BBC site regardless of where you are in the globe on the Sky At Night web site.

More Testing!

October 1, 2008

Herschel is now in the middle of a seemingly unending series of tests in the labs at ESA. Recent highlights have been the System Operations Verification Test (SOVT for the pundits) which is the first time that the whole satellite has been run as an integrated observatory doing observatory type things. Observations with all the instruments were conducted in as realistic manner as is possible in a lab with the cryostat lid closed. So we weren’t seeing any actual objects, but we got some good views of essentially blank sky.

And there are more photos!

A lot are available here, alongside the latest Herschel news, but here’s one to get you interested.

Herschel awaiting vibration testing

Herschel awaiting vibration testing

At last – a picture!

July 18, 2008

Apologies for being slow in getting the promised picture of Herschel uploaded.

But here it is!


Herschel satellite undergoing testing after final integration.

Herschel satellite undergoing testing after final integration.