The End

The Herschel team says goodbye.  Credit: ESA
The Herschel team says goodbye. Credit: ESA

If this group appears a bit melencholy they probably are. What you are looking at is ESA’s Herschel project scientist, Göran Pilbrat (left) and Spacecraft Operations Manager Micha Schmidt (right), watching final telemetry from Herschel in the Main Control Room at ESOC. Final command was sent at 12:25 GMT (14:25 CEST) on 17 June 2013.

The Herschel Space Telescope was launched on 14 May 2009 from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana and was the largest infrared telescope ever launched. About two months after launch Herschel arrived at its home, the second Lagrangian point where it carried out observations.

The expected lifespan of Herschel was three years and it lasted one month short of four years. So the end was expected but somehow that doesn’t always make it easier.

Check out the full story at ESA’s website

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