The latest satellite for the European Commission’s Copernicus environmental programme has left France bound for the Plesetsk launch site in Russia and launch late next month.
The satellite was placed in the container that will keep it safe during transit to the cosmodrome.
Sentinel-3A wrapped up for its journey to the cosmodrome in Plesetsk. (Credits: ESA–J.F. Flamand)
Sentinel-3A began its two-day journey from Thales Alenia Space in Cannes to Nice airport by lorry during the night.
An Antonov aircraft will now carry the precious cargo to Arkhangelsk in Russia after a stopover in Moscow to clear paperwork.
Sentinel-3A loaded into the lorry that will carry it on to the Nice airport. (Credits: ESA–J.F. Flamand)
At Arkhangelsk, Sentinel and its support equipment will be put on lorries before reaching the cosmodrome by rail.
Once the satellite is in the cleanroom in Plesetsk, it will be checked to ensure that all is well after the journey before beginning preparations for launch.