Launch campaign for Planck is now underway
20 February 2009Following 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.
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.
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