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Launch campaign for Planck is now underway

Launch campaign for Planck is now underway

20 February 2009

Following the conclusion of the Planck spacecraft test campaign the spacecraft has now been transported to Kourou in French Guiana, where it joins the Herschel spacecraft. In the coming weeks, the two spacecraft will be prepared for a combined launch, planned for 16 April 2009.

The Planck spacecraft left the Centre Spatial de Liège test facilities by convoy in the night of the 17th February to arrive at the Liège airport later that night. From there, departing in the early hours of Wednesday 18 February, it was flown to Rochambeau airport, French Guiana, on board an Antonov cargo airplane, with one intermediate stop in Cape Verde for additional re-fuelling of the airplane.

The Planck spacecraft is transferred from the multi-purpose trolley onto the transport base on 10 February 2009 at CSL

Bolted to the transport base, the Planck spacecraft is placed inside the container on 16 February 2009 ...

... which was then closed and readied ...

... to be placed on the low-bed truck on 17 February 2009 for transport to the Liège airport.

Upon arrival in French Guiana, Planck was subsequently transported by road to the Centre Spatial Guyanais launch site in Kourou, where it arrived around midnight on 18 February. The spacecraft was delivered to the S1B building. The first task will be to inspect the spacecraft to ensure its good health following the trans-Atlantic journey.

The Planck spacecraft is placed inside the Antonov cargo plane at Liège airport for a flight to Rochambeau airport.

An intermediate stop was made at Cape Verde for additional re-fuelling of the Antonov.

In the evening on 18 February the Antonov cargo plane with Planck on board arrived at the Rochambeau airport ...

... where the container carrying the Planck spacecraft was off-loaded and placed on a truck for further transport by road to Centre Spatial Guyanais.

All photographs on this page are copyright ESA/Thales. Larger versions of the photographs can be accessed by clicking on the images. 

Last Update: 1 September 2019
24-May-2024 14:44 UT

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