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ESA HST team status report (15.5.2009)

15 May 2009, 16:17 UTC
ESA HST team status report (15.5.2009)
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Great news to celebrate both for ESA and NASA yesterday! Two successful science mission launch events took place in one week: the amazing Atlantis launch for the Servicing Mission 4 of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the impressive Ariane 5 launch of the ESA Herschel and Planck observatories. Since the ESA HST team members have also been involved in the development of both satellites, we happily joined, via the web link, the ESA launch team celebrations in Kourou, French Guiana.
Read more about Herschel and Planck. Read launch press release.
This is a great day for science and the public! The 3.5-metre telescope mirror of Herschel at the Lagrange point L2 will join the Hubble 3-metre mirror at low-Earth orbit and both telescopes with new cameras will allow unprecedented views of the evolution of galaxies and stars, the origin of the Universe, black holes and dark matter.
During yesterday’s “orbit shift”, the ESA HST team followed with keen attention the critical events of the first EVA day. After depressurisation of the airlock, two astronauts moved head-forward towards their worksite. Tension rose when the astronauts experienced initial problems in the replacement of the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). ...

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