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Herschel and Planck space telescopes in space
The Herschel and Planck space telescopes were successfully launched from the European spaceport in Kourou at 15:12 CEST today. The satellites were carried on their way to Lagrange point L2, around 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth, by an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle. The two infrared telescopes are carrying high-tech German research instruments, which are financed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) using funds from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie; BMWi). Herschel will study extremely cold objects in galaxies while Planck will use the cosmic background radiation to examine the primordial universe. German scientists have a significant degree of involvement in these ambitious European Space Agency (ESA) missions.
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Last update: 14/05/2009 17:11:36