May 17, 2009

Dynamics Team at ESA: Herschel and Planck

Writing about web page http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Planck/SEMLQIWX3RF_0.html

Follow the link for a full story on ESA’s flight dynamics team. They are responsible for calculating orbits for both telescopes after separating from Ariane 5. It is a tense moment when both telescopes come online above Australia. It is of a crucial importance for scientists and engineers to get obrit-corrections right, so that Planck and Herschel don’t drift off into an orbit around the Sun or Earth. A lot was learnt during earlier deep-space missions (like Mars Express), but like any other space mission there is a certain degree of unpredictability.

Visit ESA’s website (follow the above link) to watch orbit sim. videos:

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