The Herschel Space Observatory was a space observatory built and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). It was active from 2009 to 2013, and was the largest infrared telescope ever launched, carrying a 3.5-metre (11.5 ft) mirror and instruments sensitive to the far infrared and submillimetre wavebands (55–672 µm). #N#Announcements of Opportunities for the Scientific Community. › Full image and caption. Project scientist Jan Tauber sent the final command to the Planck space telescope from ESA's European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, on Oct. 23, … The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory (formerly called Far Infrared and Sub-millimetre Telescope or FIRST) flew the largest single mirror ever built for a space telescope. Planck was a space observatory operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) from 2009 to 2013, which mapped the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at microwave and infra-red frequencies, with high sensitivity and small angular resolution.The mission substantially improved upon observations made by the NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). #N#Information on Supported Missions FOR the scientific and technical communities. The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the "oldest light" in the cosmos. #N#For ESA's Scientific Advisory Structure (SSAC, AWG and SSEWG) #N#The Science Faculty – for the research activities of our scientists. The Planck mission has imaged the oldest light in our universe, called the cosmic microwave background, with unprecedented precision. At 3.5-metres in diameter the mirror collected long-wavelength radiation from some of the coldest and most distant objects in the Universe. This tone represents sound waves that traveled through the early universe, and were later "heard" by the Planck space telescope. During its four-year mission, it observed variations in the cosmic microwave background across the entire sky. The European Space Agency's Planck space telescope was launched in 2009. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech. The portal for users of ESA's Science Directorate's missions.