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Planck is a mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has managed the project since its inception in 1993 and funded the development of the satellite, its launch, and its operations.

ESA's prime industrial contractor for Planck was Thales Alenia Space (Cannes, France). Industry from all over Europe has contributed to the development of Planck. Especially notable contributions to the development are due to Thales Alenia Spazio (Torino, Italy) for the Service Module, Astrium (Friedrichshafen, Germany) for the Planck reflectors, and Oerlikon Space (Zürich, Switzerland) for the payload structures.

Much of the most challenging cryogenic and optical testing has been carried out at the Centre Spatial de Liège in Belgium and on the premises of Thales Alenia Space in Cannes.

Two large international Consortia, comprising a total of around 50 scientific institutes within Europe and North America, and funded by agencies from the participating countries, have each brought outstanding know-how to the development of the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) and the High Frequency Instrument (HFI). Details can be found on the following web sites: (LFI) and (HFI).

Important industrial contributions to the instrument development are due to Thales Alenia Space (Milano, Italy) for LFI, and Air Liquide - DTA (Grenoble, France) for HFI.

The Consortia are also responsible for scientific operations of their respective instruments and processing the acquired data. The Consortia are led by the Principal Investigators (PIs): J.-L. Puget of the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay (France) leads HFI (funded principally by CNES and CNRS [INSU, IN2P3]), and N. Mandolesi of the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica in Bologna (Italy) leads LFI (funded principally by ASI and INAF). The Deputy PIs for HFI and LFI are François Bouchet and Marco Bersanelli, respectively.

NASA has funded the US Planck Project, based at JPL and involving scientists at many US institutions, which has contributed very significantly to the efforts of these two Consortia.

A Consortium of Danish institutes (, funded by the Danish National Research Council, has participated with ESA in a joint development of the two reflectors for the Planck telescope.

Planck is being operated by a Flight Control Team at the Mission Operations Centre (MOC) at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany.

The Planck Science Office, located at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Spain, manages the survey and coordinates scientific operations of the two instruments.


Last Update: 1 September 2019
23-Apr-2024 23:12 UT

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