Herschel is hoisted up to the Ariane 5 ECA launcher
In the morning on 30 April the Herschel spacecraft was hoisted up inside the BAF airlock and up into the adjacent high bay of the BAF, for mating of the spacecraft on top of the Ariane 5 ECA launcher. With the launcher adapter ring (Adaptateur Charge Utile, or ACU) already integrated at the base of Herschel's service module the spacecraft was lifted by an overhead crane, using the Herschel vertical lifting device to handle the spacecraft.
This image is taken from the access platform inside the high bay that surrounds the launcher at the level where the Herschel spacecraft is to be integrated, looking down on the spacecraft as it enters the high bay through shaft opening of the BAF airlock below.
The Herschel telescope is covered by a protective foil to protect the contamination sensitive surface of the telescope's primary mirror.