Herschel is a cornerstone mission of the ESA scientific programme, which planned the put into orbit of a 3.5 diameter telescope operating in the far infrared and submillimetre range. Three instruments were mounted on the focal plane, with which it was possible to obtain broadband images and carry out high-resolution spectroscopic measurements: the PACS spectrometer, the SPIRE spectrometer and the HIFI detection system.   

The lift-off of Herschel happened in May 2009, along with the satellite Planck. After the launch, the two satellites separated to reach the L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million km away from Earth, where they carried out the respective observation programmes

Herschel was the ESA first astronomic space observatory for astronomic observations in the submillimetre and far infrared range. The main goal was investigating the formation and evolution of galaxies in the Universe and observing the internal part of star formation regions.

The Italian involvement in the mission includes the manufacturing of the Digital Processing Units (DPUs) and the on-board software of the three instruments, the manufacturing of the optical part of the HIFI’s Wide Band Spectrometer, the laboratory calibration of PACS’ spectrometer, the participation in three Instrument Control Centers (ICCs) and in the preparation of the observation programme and data analysis procedures. The activities were coordinated by the INAF/IFSI in Rome.

‣ News

WEDNESDAY 20 MAY 2020

The Prisma Mission opens to the community ‣

Now that the commissioning phase and the calibration/validation activities have been completed PRISMA is finally ready to open the mission exploitation by the user community. MORE...

THURSDAY 30 APRIL 2020

The Earth’s tides move the continents ‣

Astronomical forces such as solid Earth’s tides play an active role on plate tectonics: this is the results of a research conducted by the Sapienza University of Rome, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). MORE...

THURSDAY 16 APRIL 2020

Cheops is ready for hunting ‣

The scientific operations of the space mission Cheops officially started. The mission, with an important Italian participation, explores the Universe to give us an in-depth look at new worlds MORE...

MONDAY 02 SEPTEMBER 2019

IKUNS NanoSatellite, a virtuous example of the Italo-Kenyan Cooperation in the Space sector ‣

The project was presented on August 24th 2019, during an event dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci MORE...

THURSDAY 22 AUGUST 2019

Parmitano starts Nutriss ‣

Nutriss will be the first scientific activity of ASI in orbit for Luca Parmitano, astronaut of the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the third of six Italian experiments is ready to take off. MORE...