The Herschel Space Observatory of ESA studied successfully the cool Universe for more than three years.
The amount of liquid helium used to cool the instruments of the largest space telescope to close to absolute zero just exhausted, as planned.
Launched on May 14th 2009, Herschel contained more than 2300 liters of liquid helium, stored in a high tech cryogenic tank, designed and manufactured by Air Liquide. Herschel made numerous scientific observations in the Universe and sent a wealth of data that has yet to be studied.
In the framework of this program, Air Liquide has moreover delivered other equipment, in particular a second liquid helium tank for tests on the ground, helium transportation lines, as well as heat shields that insulate the tanks and instruments from the exterior environment.
Copyringht: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortia, T. Hill, F. Motte, Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU – CNRS/INSU – Uni. Paris Diderot, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium