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Lift-off from European telescopes

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posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:36 AM
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A rocket carrying Europe's Herschel and Planck space telescopes has lifted off from Kourou in French Guiana.

Their Ariane 5 lifted clear of the equatorial spaceport at 1312 GMT (1412 BST) on a flight scheduled to last just under 30 minutes.

Mission controllers in Germany should get signals 10 minutes later to confirm they have control of the telescopes.

The rocket ride is just the first stage in a long journey for the astronomical satellites, which will spend the next few weeks making their way out to observation positions some 1.5 million km from Earth on its "night side".

Herschel is the largest telescope anyone has yet tried to put in space. Its 3.5m-diameter primary mirror is one-and-a-half-times the size of Hubble's main reflector.

The telescope will be sensitive to far-infrared and sub-millimetre (radio) wavelengths of light, allowing it to peer through clouds of dust and gas to see stars at the moment they are born.


Speaking on the eve of the launch, European Space Agency director general Jean-Jacques Dordain paid tribute to effort that brought the 1.9bn-euro observatories to the launch pad.

"This is the result of many years' hard work by thousands of scientists and engineers across Europe," he told BBC News.

"The technology onboard these satellites is unique, and the science these satellites will do is fantastic."


Read the complete article here

Another gem in the sky to explore the unknown; Can't wait to get the updates from this mission; Great work and thanks for making this possible.




posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:53 AM
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posted on May, 14 2009 @ 09:12 AM
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Whats the rush with all of the telescope business lately? Is there something out there that everyone is in a rush to see? I would think so.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by WonkoTheSane
 


Or maybe Technology is progressing to a stage where we want to see further and deeper by other means rather then just visible light...



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 03:29 AM
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reply to post by WonkoTheSane
 


rush? have you any idea how many years these and other space telescopes spend in development? considering kepler was meant to launch 3 years ago it doesnt seem like it was rushed at all.


oh and i think theres plenty they want to see, why else would they build them?




[edit on 15-5-2009 by yeti101]



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