Herschel departs Europe - launch campaign underway
13 February 2009On the evening of 11 February 2009 the Herschel space observatory left Europe, departing from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol onboard an Antonov cargo airplane with destination Rochambeau airport in French Guiana.
On the evening of 10 February, the Herschel spacecraft departed the ESTEC test facilities in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, travelling in its custom transport container by special convoy, arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol around midnight. There, the 3-tonne spacecraft was loaded onto an Antonov plane together with additional support equipment totalling more than 30 tonnes.
The next day, on the evening of 11 February, the Antonov plane carrying Herschel took off on a non-stop flight to Rochambeau airport.