Herschel launch

Herschel was launched together with the Planck satellite on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, on the north-east coast of South America.

The launch sequence was executed flawlessly, beginning with lift-off of the powerful Ariane 5 rocket at 10:12 AM in Kourou (2:12 PM in the UK). About 25 minutes after launch, with the rocket hurtling into space at about 35,000 km/hour, the Herschel and Planck satellites were successfully released and sent on their way. The satellites spent about 6 weeks travelling to their orbital locations about 1.5 million km away from the Earth (about four times further away than the Moon). The movie below shows the key parts of their launch.