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Old 05-14-2009, 10:22 AM   #1
HarryT
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Herschel/Planck telescopes successfully launched

I'm delighted to see that the European Space Agency's "Herschel" and "Planck" space telescopes have been successfully launched on an Ariane V rocket today. When I was a PhD student, over 20 years ago, I did work on the detectors for Planck, and it's wonderful to see it finally make it into space after so many years wait.

These telescopes should provide revolutionary knowledge for astronomy. Having had an exceedingly small role in the thing myself, I feel a certain element of "paternal pride" in them .
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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I'm especially interested in the results Herschel will return.

On days like these I feel sad I never finished my Astronomy education...
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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Wow very cool Harry, you should be proud
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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Totally agree. A telescope operating in the infra-red region of the spectrum can see "hot" objects inside dust clouds, and so we should be able to see very young stars in the process of formation. Fun stuff!

Update: both spacecraft have sent signals back to mission control confirming that they have successfully separated from the launch vehicle and are "alive and well". It's all looking great!
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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I was looking at the mission details this morning and meant to drop into the BBC web-site for any launch pictures - but forgot with working outside.

But Thanks Harry for the good news ..... (It would have been an expensive loss if there had been any problems with the launch)..
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