Transfer of Herschel to the transport container
On Thursday 29 January 2009, the first activities for the forthcoming transport and shipment of the Herschel spacecraft to Kourou were performed with the securing of Herschel onto the lower part of its transport container.
This image shows Herschel during the transfer from its multi-purpose trolley (in the background, on the right) to the lower part of the transport container (in the background, on the left).
The circular ring on the base of the spacecraft's service module, which is facing the viewer in this image, is a mechanical interface that allows the spacecraft to be secured to ground support equipment, or to the transport container.
Visible in the centre of this ring are Herschel's two star trackers, each with a red protective cover that will be removed before launch. Also attached to the base of the service module are the six pairs of 20N thrusters (twelve thrusters in total) that will be used for attitude control. They are visible along the outer edges, with red protective covers in place (one over each pair).