Lowering the Herschel spacecraft onto the Ariane 5 ECA launcher
With the launcher adapter ring (Adaptateur Charge Utile, or ACU) integrated at the base of its service module the Herschel spacecraft is lowered into place on top of the Ariane 5 ECA launcher inside the final assembly building (Bâtiment d'Assemblage Final, or BAF).
The Planck spacecraft was already integrated with the launcher on 23 April 2009. Four days later, on 27 April, the SYLDA 5 support structure that encapsulates the Planck spacecraft and will carry the Herschel spacecraft during the joint launch was also integrated on top of the launcher.
This image was taken on 30 April, from the access platform that surrounds the launcher at the level where the Herschel spacecraft was later integrated.