Planck Arrives at ESTEC
1 April 2008After a flight from Nice to Amsterdam in the night of Thursday 27 March 2008, the Planck spacecraft arrived by transporter truck at ESTEC early on Friday. Over the weekend the spacecraft was unpacked from its transport container, together with the mechanical ground support equipment (MGSE).
Before going to CSL in Liège for the final thermal and cryogenic spacecraft system test, Planck will be subjected to a fine balancing test, in light vacuum (around 1 mbar), inside the Large Space Simulator at ESTEC. As the Planck spacecraft will rotate in orbit at 1 rpm around its longitudinal axis, the objective of this test is to characterise, with sufficient precision, its inertial properties. Performing the test under vacuum (1 mbar) will provide a better assessment of these properties than if performed in ambient conditions.
Upon completion of these test activities the Planck spacecraft will be transported from ESTEC to the Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL). This is, however, another story, which will be detailed later.