FIRST/Planck study phase
25 June 1998Following the ESA's Science Programme (SPC) meeting of 28/29 May "the coupled FIRST/Planck missions will now enter a detailed study phase, encompassing the selected instruments, with the objective of refining a joint mission scenario within reach of a stringent target cost", states Brian Taylor, Head of the Astrophysics Division of the Space Science Department of ESA, in ESA's Astronews No. 35.
Technical studies have led to three options, the 'Carrier', being the preferred option.
The 'Carrier' option comprises: two spacecraft mated together and launched by a single Ariane-5 with direct injection in transfer orbit to L2 and early separation of the two spacecraft. Scientific observations in parallel (3 years FIRST and 15 months Planck) from two different Lissajous orbits.