Planck 'touch-up' manoeuvre complete
During the evening of 17 June, the thrusters on ESA's Planck satellite were operated during a 3-hour manoeuvre. The short 'touch-up' burn completed Planck's mid-course correction, which started with a much larger burn on 5 June.
The touch-up manoeuvre - a small correction applied after a major thruster burn - follows a 46-hour burn conducted on 5 June; the two-step mid-course correction has placed the satellite on its final trajectory for arrival at L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, early in July.
Yesterday's manoeuvre started at 18:46 CEST and was completed exactly three hours later, at 21:46 CEST. It provided a change in speed of 42.4 km/hour; Planck is slowing down and receding as viewed from Earth.
Planck is travelling at a speed of 850 km/hour - similar to the cruising speed of commercial jet aircraft - with respect to the surface of Earth.
Planck is approximately 1.35 million km away from Earth, and is on track for the crucial orbit insertion manoeuvre, planned for 2 July.