Planck final contact
Since the 14th of August, the Planck satellite has departed from its observing orbit. This was the first of a series of steps followed by the switching off, on the 19th of October, of the science instruments on board: HFI (High Frequency Instrument) and LFI (Low Frequency Instrument). On Wednesday the 23rd of October, that is 1624 days after launch, communication with the Planck satellite ceased.
The last commands to the satellite, executed during the ultimate Daily Tele-Communication Period from ESA/ESOC at Darmstadt (Germany), gave the opportunity to review the successes of the Planck mission achieved so far and to glimpse those yet to come.
Indeed, after a first series of results and products delivered to the community in January 2011 and a second series focused on the cosmological results and products released in March 2013, the Planck collaboration is now busy analysing the full dataset including the polarisation data that will shed light on the early universe.
See also Planck project
The Planck European space observatory
Credits: ESA/D. Ducros