The simultaneous launch of Herschel and Planck on an Ariane 5 rocket from ESA´s base in French Guyana on 14th May 2009 marked the beginning of two of ESA's most ambitious scientific missions, which cast a new light on the nature of the cosmos and the origins of the universe.
SSC subsidiary LSE Space supported these missions in all their main phases, from 2004 to 2013: preparation, launch, LEOP, commissioning and routine. Around ten LSE Space engineers have been supporting the missions working in various roles as fully integrated members of the ESTEC and ESOC teams.
At ESTEC, LSE Space engineers supported the Instruments Ground Segment integration and testing and followed the Herschel ACMS subsystem from the design, procurement and testing phase up to launch and commissioning.
At ESOC, LSE Space provided Spacecraft Operations Engineers took care of several subsystems on both Herschel (Power, Thermal, TTC and Cryostat Control Units) and Planck (Data Handling, Power, Thermal, TTC and System), supported the Ground Segment and Simulator testing as well as the whole SVTs and SOVTs Test Campaign up to the Simulation Campaign, LEOP, Commissioning and Routine Phase. Moreover, LSE Space provided two Analysts to maintain of both Herschel and Planck Databases.
LSE Space Ground Station Engineers supported the whole Herschel & Planck Simulation Campaign and the Planck LEOP.
Aurora Technology commenced support to Herschel in ESTEC when it was still called "FIRST" way back in the year 2000. Aurora provided System Engineer and System Architect for the Science Operations Centre (SOC) development at ESTEC. The development and operations moved to ESAC where Aurora continued to provide System Architect support plus other software development for Mission Planning and Interactive Analysis
Once again, LSE Space and Aurora staff are there, associated with the most ambitious scientific missions.
Inthe picture: Herschel and Planck launch at the ESOC Main Control Room, Darmstadt (Photo: ESA/Grothues).