The deep space Planck telescope will retire this week after a successful four-year mission that revealed our universe to be 80 million years older than previously thought, the
Mission controllers fired Planck's thrusters to empty its fuel tanks - one of the final steps before the spent satellite can be "parked" in a safe orbit around the Sun, far away from the Earth and Moon, after it goes out of action today.
"The final step will be the simple act of switching off the transmitters: we will witness the silencing of Planck and we will never receive a signal from her again," ESA spacecraft operations manager,
The procedure to put Planck in a "permanently safe configuration" is similar to that employed for its sister satellite, Herschel, earlier this year.
Launched together in
Named after 20th-century German physicist
The data showed the universe to be expanding at a slower rate than previously thought, which required adjusting its age to 13,82 billion years.
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