The space telescope known for its images of the puffy birth-clouds of young stars stopped working yesterday. It ran out of the helium it needed to cool its instruments close to absolute zero.
The European Space Agency's Herschel space telescope, launched in 2009, worked for about as long as scientists expected it to. It'll now undergo some final tests, and then European Space Agency engineers will pull it into the sun's orbit, where it'll stay indefinitely.
Herschel's mission was to study the origin of stars and galaxies. It was the first telescope to cover such a wide range of wavelengths of light, from far-infrared to sub-millimeter wavelengths. It was able to detect especially cold regions of space that were invisible to other observatories. Data from Herschel helped astronomers determine that galaxies formed far more stars during the first few billion years of cosmic history than previously thought, according to the European Space Agency.
Herschel also provided data about chemicals present in other objects in space. Astronomers used the data to find what other places have water, for instance. They found a pre-stellar core in the Taurus molecular cloud has as much water, in the form of ice, as millions of Earths. A protoplanetary disc around the star TW Hydrae has as several thousand times more water than Earth, in the form of water vapor. When that disc forms planets, there should be plenty of water available to cover those planets, Frank Helmich, who leads the science team for one of the instruments onboard Herschel, said in a news release from the European Space Agency.
Our solar system really has something that we need to understand most especially on how long are they being active. - <a href="http://www.thebalancingact.com/story/?id=3628">Reputation Advocate</a>
I told them to use hydrogen slush instead.
does this have anything to do with this keep it under the radar nidiru that is oppositely in our orbit? I'm just wondering if this is a cover up about this planet x that may or may not hit or miss us.
I'll launch balloons. Think Herschel will catch em? Seriously, I hope it's not too long before we can start recharging craft like this and Spitzer and the rest. Downtime sucks. Science waits for full service filling station. Corner lots are cheap. Property taxes still real low. I been tryin to figure out just what the problem is.
I'll miss Herschel!
Why can't this be recharged or repaired like Hubble?
What a waist!
I don't think the Herschel mission provided sufficient value given its cost of over $1.5B. Taxpayers everywhere should demand a greater justification of cost/benefit from government agencies before such projects are funded. Furthermore, given the massive levels of debt and budget deficits facing governments in Europe and the US, there should be a moratorium on spending billions each year for such discretionary projects.
We can resume these projects once our governments get their financial houses in order. Space has been around for many billions of years, and it's not going anywhere soon. But unless the US government quits racking up hundreds of $billions in debt each year, and begins a serious effort pay down its existing $trillions in debt, the country will suffer economic collapse within another 20 years.
I know this is ESA and not NASA, but I'll use USA/NASA as an example. A quick google search shows NASA's 2013 budget is about 1% of the Federal budget. [17.8 billion out of 1,510 billion] If it's the 1% in our budget that's killing us, then we have other problems ;)
Launched in 2009, it has been in service approximately 4 years. Including R&D I would assume at least another 2-4 years in development and design before ever launching. So 1.5B spread over 6-8 years is 250mil-188mil per year on average. This includes development, manufacture, launch (which is like 300 million itself), and maintain this probe over it's lifetime.
Not saying we don't need to cut back, I just think there are countless other things that can be cut other than science. Even if the USA closed NASA entirely, we would still rack up debt. Actually now that I look again, we increased the overall budget for 2013 vs 2012 and decreased NASA's piece (from 1.3% in 2012 to 1.1% in 2013) So no worries, the 1 billion we saved from will save us from the 200billion they added to the overall budget... lol what?