Herschel & Planck

The Herschel and Planck are separate spacecraft that will be launched on the same vehicle. They were launched in May 2009.

Herschel will be the largest space telescope of its kind when launched. Herschel's 3.5-metre diameter mirror will collect long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. Herschel will be the only space observatory to cover the spectral range from far-infrared to sub-millimetre wavelengths.

Planck will look back at the dawn of time, close to the Big Bang, about 14 thousand million years ago. This satellite is ESA's 'time machine'. Using it astronomers will be able to travel back in time, towards the beginning of space and time as we know it now. Its ultimate goal will be to help astronomers in deciding which theories on the birth and evolution of the Universe are correct.

The on-board architecture is similar for each spacecraft. Two ERC32 processor modules, with each module having a cold redundant backup providing a total of 4 ERC32 processors, execute the Central Data Management Unit (CDMU) software within the CDMS unit, and the Attitude Control Computer (ACC) software within the ACMS unit. RTEMS is the used RTOS for both the CDMU and ACC on-board software. The version base is the RTEMS 4.5.0.

For more information, please visit the official ESA links to Herschel is and for Planck

Last modified on May 14, 2009 at 8:37:02 PM Last modified on May 14, 2009, 8:37:02 PM