Herschel, ESA's infrared space observatory is equipped with a 3.5-m diameter primary mirror, the largest ever launched into space. The telescope mirror will collect long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. Herschel will cover a wide range of wavelengths, from the far infrared to the sub-millimetre band. The longest of these wavelengths have never been explored before. The mission was launched on 14 May 2009 piggybacking ESA's Planck spacecraft, on board an Ariane 5 ECA from Europe's Spaceport in French Guyana.
Credits: ESA TV.