Herschel and Planck will be launched on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in spring 2009. The
satellites will separate shortly after launch and proceed to their respective orbits around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-
Earth system, or L2. The boosters of the Ariane 5 will fire for just under 2.5 minutes and its main and upper stage engines for
about 25 minutes, setting Herschel and then Planck on the path to L2.
This artist’s impression shows the fairing of the Ariane 5 being ejected, with Herschel visible on top of Planck.