One of the most powerful new space observatories, ESA's Planck mission, reached an important milestone with the integration of several instruments into the main satellite. The integration was performed by Alcatel Alenia Space in Cannes, France. When it's finally complete, Planck will use a 1.5 metre telescope to view the cosmic microwave background radiation. This is the afterglow of the radiation that filled the Universe after the Big Bang. Planck's huge instrument and array of detectors will allow it to measure minute variations in this radiation, and help cosmologists understand the environment after the Big Bang. Not only that, but scientists will use Planck to understand the overall geometry of space, the density of normal matter versus articles/bobs-knobs-faq.html