The Herschel satellite was launched on 14 May 2009 by an Ariane 5 launcher, alongside the Planck satellite, the ESA Cosmology mission.
Herschel's 3.5 m diameter mirror is collecting long wavelength infrared radiation emitted by objects that are among the coldest and most distant in the universe, including galaxies and stars being formed.
- To carry out a complete study of the sky and the sub-millimetric band of several hundred astrophysical objects.
- To study the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.
- To study the molecular chemistry of planets, comets and the atmospheres of satellites.
The Herschel payload includes:
Herschel's mirror after brazing.