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ljk4-1
Installation of the Herschel Sunshield onto Payload Module

Currently at the European Space Research And Technology Centre (ESTEC),
Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the assembly of the Herschel Structural and Thermal
Qualification model satellite is nearing completion with its two main modules,
the payload module and the service module, already mated together.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=38487
Rakhir
Herschel Ready for Mechanical Vibration and Shock Tests

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=38735
BruceMoomaw
Oh, yes; a dual launch has been the plan for a long time to save money.
Rakhir
Herschel-SPIRE Testing at ESTEC

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Herschel_..._ESTEC_999.html
NMRguy
New developments with Herschel. It really is a Large Space Simulator.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=40558

"The Herschel cryostat was moved into the Large Space Simulator at ESTEC on Sunday, 21 January, in preparation for a three week test during which the cryostat will be exposed to vacuum and temperature conditions approaching those that it will be exposed to once Herschel is launched."
Rakhir
Herschel's heart and brain mated
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM0ZJJPK6F_index_0.html

Nice animation showing the details of the cryostat.

and :
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMJ9XK5P6F_index_0.html
ustrax
Herschel Captain's Log chez moi...Monthly...
I'm Happy... smile.gif
nprev
Quite the scoop, Rui; congrats! smile.gif Looking forward to the periodic reports.
ustrax
A pleasure to count with a man that compares a space exploration mission to a medieval cathedral... smile.gif
tedstryk
This is the first dedicated infrared telescope above the atmosphere that is actually a large telescope. The others' sole claim to fame was their location. For example, Spitzer has an aperture of 0.85 and ISO had an aperture of .6 meters. It should be a very exciting mission.
nprev
QUOTE (ustrax @ Jan 9 2008, 08:52 AM) *
A pleasure to count with a man that compares a space exploration mission to a medieval cathedral... smile.gif


Thank you for that terrific complement. I actually would equate UMSF with the first sorties by semi-legged fish onto land, or the first times our distant ancestors left some warm valley in East Africa to see what was beyond the horizon.

It's that important; don't know if we can ever build a monument grand enough to commemorate it. The best testament is to keep on doing it.
PhilCo126
Both will operate from the Lagrange L2 point ... It's going to be busy at L2 wink.gif

I believe there's isn't any competition for Herschel, some years ago there was a proposal for an 8 meter Single Aperture Far InfraRed space telescope. But did Japan not plan a large 3.5 meter Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) ?
Del Palmer
QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Jan 10 2008, 06:23 PM) *
But did Japan not plan a large 3.5 meter Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) ?


SPICA is under development and is on track for a 2010 launch.
GravityWaves
I read a few weeks ago the Japanese mission got delayed, there is a chance JAXA may have a critical design flaw running through all their telescopes as Suzaku and Akari all lost a good percentage of their coolant, boiling it off into space. JAXA is now looking at funding more R&D for increasing the performance of its mechanical coolers, lack of funding may require help from NASA or ESA and the latest launch date is pushing it closer to the year 2015 (by this year JWST should have already launched). Currently the J-Government and Japanese space agency is less concerned about telescopes and more concerned about getting a sample return from the Moon to prevent them from being politically eclipsed by China.
PhilCo126
ESA's Herschel space observatory will carry the largest telescope ( 3.5 meter Cassegrain mirror with Focal Length 2.70 m ) ever deployed in space. New materials enabled it to only weigh 320 kilograms.
In comparison, the Hubble Space Telescope's 2.4 meter Cassegrain mirror ( Focal Length 57.6 m ) weights 1090 kilograms.

Does anyone know of which material the Herschel mirror is made??? huh.gif

the other Philip
ustrax
Here you have it. smile.gif
PhilCo126
Thank You, it looks like they initially planned a lower weight:
The large size of Herschel’s primary mirror meant that it could not be built in a single piece but instead had to be constructed from 12 separate 'petals', thus becoming the first 'segmented' space mirror as well as the largest to date, weighing 240 kg with an average thickness of about 20 cm and a front face thickness of between two and three millimetres.
ustrax
Assembly complete! smile.gif
GravityWaves
assuming the launch is sucessful how long will it take to travel from Earth orbit into L2 point
Rakhir
"In less than six months, Herschel will reach its operational orbit around (...) L2"
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMA539YFDD_index_0.html
PhilCo126
http://herschel.esac.esa.int/latest_news.shtml
PhilCo126
For those in the neighborhood during holidays in South of France;
http://www.oamp.fr/expo-herschel/
climber
If you have access to this AWST article: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/sto...Endeavor%20Ever
climber
QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Mar 11 2009, 01:23 PM) *
For those in the neighborhood during holidays in South of France;

Unfortunately this is "the other" South... best for Ant than me from South West.
PhilCo126
The latest on Herschel: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMHNBANJTF_index_0.html
climber
Follow the launch here: http://www.videocorner.tv/


ARIANESPACE FLIGHT - HERSCHEL and PLANCK

The launch readiness review (RAL) took place in Kourou on Tuesday, May 12, 2008 and authorized count-down operations for the HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch.

For its second launch of the year, Arianespace will orbit two scientific satellites for the European Space Agency: the Herschel space telescope and the Planck scientific observatory.

The two satellites are being launched towards the Lagrange Point (L2), once again demonstrating the operational capabilities of Ariane 5. This is the only launch vehicle on the commercial market today capable of launching two payloads simultaneously, and handling a complete array of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit, to scientific missions into special orbits.

It will be launched from the Ariane launch complex N° 3 (ELA3), in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Ariane 5 ECA launcher lift-off for this flight is scheduled during the day of May 14, 2009 as soon as possible within the following launch window:

UTC
Between 1:12 p.m.
and 2:07 p.m. on
May 14, 2009

Paris, France
Between 3:12 p.m.
and 4:07 p.m. on
May 14, 2009

Kourou, French Guiana
Between 10:12 a.m.
and 11:07 a.m. on
May 14, 2009

Washington, D.C., USA
Between 9:12 a.m.
and 10:07 a.m. on
May 14, 2009

Moscow, Russia
Between 5:12 p.m.
and 6:07 p.m. on
May 14, 2009

nprev
Great news!!! Thanks for that detailed info, Climber.

Does anyone have a good link for launch coverage? I haven't tried to see an Ariane launch on the Web before, and frankly have had a tough time drilling down to equivalent NASA coverage before.
climber
Just follow the link I posted at the begining of my post, it works.
stewjack
Watch Hubble repair mission, or watch Ariane 5 HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch? Watch Hubble repair mission, or watch Ariane 5 HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch? Watch Hubble repair mission, or watch Ariane 5 HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch? Watch Hubble repair mission, or watch Ariane 5 HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch? Watch Hubble repair mission, or watch Ariane 5 HERSCHEL & PLANCK launch? ARRGGGHH blink.gif

dmuller
I will be watching Herschel & Planck! NASA got the better replays :-) Also trying to see whether my website can handle "live" launch coverage ... or rather, whether it can handle if the launch is delayed at short notice, which I really dont hope for!
Stu
Just found a great blog being written by some of the Planck team...

http://planckmission.wordpress.com

There's a Herschel blog too...

http://herschelmission.wordpress.com

And ESA is Twittering both missions, with regular updates...

http://twitter.com/ESAHerschel

http://twitter.com/Planck

SO good to see ESA and ESA scientists embracing the new media like this! If you're interested in the mission, go visit the blog and congratulate them. smile.gif

MahFL
Lift off !!
MahFL
Fairing seperation reported. I assume this is real and not the timeline......
MahFL
Upper stage ignition.
AndyG
Herschel and Planck in orbit! Textbook launch. biggrin.gif
MahFL
Hershel has seperated from the upper stage !
MahFL
Awesome, perfect launch indeed.

Meanwhile HST is getting a new camera and comms today.
PhilCo126
A superb day-time launch;
Herschel (3400 Kg) separated from SYLDA at altitude of 1160 Kilometers, SYLDA moved away at 1500 Kilometers and Planck (1950 Kg) was released at 1600 Kilometers. Both spacecraft will perform several apogee motor firings to get them to L2 point. Congrats to ESA & all involved!
jamescanvin
Congrats to ESA - I haven't been so nervous about a launch in a long time, two such important missions on one flight - whew! smile.gif
Sunspot
I was too nervous to watch... Pleased to read things have gone well so far.
MahFL
Both are alive, signals detected.
ugordan
Why so nervous? This was the 30th consecutive Ariane 5 success after all. Those guys make it look easy!
Mongo
Oh, I am always nervous during a launch. You just never know if something has been overlooked during launch vehicle manufacture or assembly.
SFJCody
QUOTE (ugordan @ May 14 2009, 02:54 PM) *
Why so nervous? This was the 30th consecutive Ariane 5 success after all.


It's great isn't it! I remember how much jeering there was after the unfortunate failure of the maiden launch carrying Cluster. They're not laughing now!


Similar to the situation with Hubble in the early 90s- lots of jokes when it became apparent that there was a serious problem, but in the years after 1993 those grins slowly became slack jawed gawping at Hubble's fantastic and awe inspiring visual bounty.
tedstryk
Happy day for space-borne astronomy!
PhilCo126
Indeed Ted, fingers crossed the trip to L2 point goes well... Amazing to see how, from a launch vehicle weighing 777 Tons, about 5.5 Tons will make a great difference for space borne astronomy ohmy.gif
stevesliva
QUOTE (SFJCody @ May 14 2009, 11:50 AM) *
It's great isn't it! I remember how much jeering there was after the unfortunate failure of the maiden launch carrying Cluster. They're not laughing now!


Well, the schadenfreude probably had more to do with the hubris of putting a payload on the maiden launch, and the spectacular nature of the failure, than it had to do with failure itself being unusual, or with people finding anything to jeer about watching a valuable payload disappear. Yes, it may not have been unprecedented to launch a payload on a first flight, but in hindsight it certainly didn't look prudent. I don't think that people necessarily expected the failures to continue. Fair characterization or not, it sort of would be like Boeing inviting a few VIPs onto the 787's first flight and having it crash. The crash is bad, but having an important payload on it compounded it. I guess it wasn't irreplacable. If it were the US, it'd have been some "spare" huge recon sat.
ynyralmaen
As someone whose research post disappeared in an admittedly very pretty puff of smoke in 1996, I agree that it wasn't very prudent to put Cluster on that particular launcher! One important part of the decision to do so was the very economical price of the launch, but clearly it was a false economy.

It was very galling to discover the very avoidable cause of the loss, and then to take delivery of the returned, dented, mud-covered instruments a few weeks later. Valuable lessons were learnt that will hopefully help prevent anything similar happening again.

Cluster II has of course been a huge success, and is still going strong...
ugordan
QUOTE (ynyralmaen @ May 14 2009, 11:14 PM) *
I agree that it wasn't very prudent to put Cluster on that particular launcher!

That's hindsight and it's easy to make conclusions now. I'd argue it was as prudent a decision back then as it would be now. The Cluster team had to be aware of the risks involved in the decision to fly on a new and untested vehicle and they still went ahead with it. It doesn't really matter how stupid or avoidable a failure is in retrospect, it's always those unknowns that get you. Hopefully you learn something from your mistakes along the way.
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