Planck craft launched May 14 is now in position and is operating. ESA says it began taking scientific data yesterday June 14. Going around the sun, about 1 million miles or 1.5 million km farther out than the earth is. http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK&page=dev_news Basically in position at the L2 lagrange point. ==quote== 15 June: the sorption cooler has achieved its nominal temperature. . The temperatures on the sorption cooler side of the interface is ~17.5 K. The third V-groove is at about 45 K. Record temperatures ! 14 June: the LFI front-ends have been turned on and are behaving nominally, producing science data. This was the last major payload element remaining to be turned on. Planck is now fully alive ! 11 June: the first excitement related to the payload: yesterday evening the sorption cooler unexpectedly turned itself off. The anomaly was quickly traced to a safety threshold which had been incorrectly set. It was updated and sorption cooler restarted within a few hours. The cool-down profile was hardly affected. 9 June 2009: the big manoeuver has been completed: ~155 m/s were expended over ~46 hrs. A very slight overperformance will be compensated with a touch-up manoeuver on 17 June. In the meantime, the payload is cooling down as planned: the Sorption Cooler cold-end is following very closely the cool-down profile which was achieved during ground testing (at CSL), and the HFI focal plane is also cooling down as predicted. It is expected now to achieve 20 K at the sorption cooler cold-end sometime during the weekend. 4 June 2009: both the sorption cooler and the LFI have been switched on, are healthy and doing what they are expected to do. Big smiles on everybody's faces ! Tomorrow: execution of the big manoeuver will start and will last around one day. ==endquote== The point for cosmology is it will take an even closer look at the earliest light than WMAP did.