Herschel passes critical test

Herschel has successfully completed its in-orbit commissioning review.

The spacecraft is in excellent condition, and its instruments have been fully commissioned and checked out.

Herschel is now certified ready to begin the performance verification phase. This is where the scientists will "tweak" the observatory  to attain optimum performance for scientific observations.

This marks the end of the development phase and the start of the operational phase for the mission.