First in-flight tests of the SPIRE instrument

Testing of the Herschel instruments has already started. The SPIRE instrument was switched on for the first time on Tuesday May 18th.   Over a period of ten hours, the SPIRE team commanded the instrument in real time from the European Space Agency’s control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.  Everything is working well so far. More key tests are planned over the next two days to complete the first phase of instrument check-out.

Members of the SPIRE team in Darmstadt for SPIRE switch-on and testing. Left to right: Ken King, Bruce Swinyard, Sunil Sidher, Markos Trichas, Tanya Lim, Matt Griffin, Ivan Valtchanov