The Planck Mission

Planck Education and Public Outreach Mission Simulation Project

Simulation of the Planck satellite in space.


Planck is an international satellite mission led by the European Space Agency with significant contribution by NASA, designed to measure the anisotropy of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The Planck Mission’s Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) stated goals are to: Strengthen science and technology education in the US, raise public awareness about the value of the various science missions, and contribute to the future science and technology workforce in the US through educational opportunities for students, teachers, and the public.

A screen shot of what the user sees when using the Planck satellite simulation.


The Planck Visualization Project is a multiplatform, interactive visualization of the mission, from launch to orbital insertion to data gathering operations, which was developed by CIVS and external collaborators. The Planck Visualization was created at Purdue Calumet and has now grown into a collaborative effort between Purdue and UCSB with each institution focusing on different aspects of the visualization.


The Planck Mission Simulation has been tested and successfully deployed to a wide range of systems. This includes: commodity personal computers, 3D TV based kiosk displays, a VR cave system at CIVS, and a large dome system at the University of California Santa Barbara. Recent additions to the project have made the simulation configurable for planetarium usage and has added switchable multi-spectrum sky data maps. Once the final data collected from Planck is made public, the application will be updated and made available for download.

Plank Mission Team

Jatila van der Veen (Lead Coordinator of E/PO for the US Planck Team)
John Moreland & Jerry Dekker (Purdue Calumet)
Laura Cayon (Physics Professor, Purdue West Lafayette)

Additional Planck Mission Resources

Click the movie below to see the Planck Visualization Project  in detail.

Planck Visualization Project

Download Planck Visualization Flyer