Planck and Herschel separate
Animation of images taken by Herschel's Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) shortly after separation from the Planck-SYLDA 5 composite at 13:38 UT on 14 May 2009. The images show the composite receding behind Herschel, with Planck encapsulated in the SYLDA 5; Earth's surface is in the background. The two satellites were travelling at about 10 kms-1, 1150 km above the East coast of Africa at the time of separation.
Within 2 minutes of Herschel's separation, the SYLDA 5 was jettisoned and shortly after at 13:40 UT Planck also separated from the upper cryogenic stage (the last stage of the launcher, just visible underneath the SYLDA in the last frame of this animation).
ESA's infrared observatory Herschel and Planck, the Agency's mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, lifted off together on an Ariane 5 at 13:12:02 UTC from ESA's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.