This artist's concept shows the Herschel spacecraft.
Herschel will be the largest space telescope ever launched to date. Its 3.5-metre diameter mirror will collect long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. Herschel will be the only space observatory to cover the range from far-infrared to sub-millimetre wavelengths.
The mission will be launched in July 2008, in tandem with ESA's Planck spacecraft, by an Ariane-5 from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana).