With the delivery of the copy of the certification that states that the launch vehicle dry run has been completed and that it is ready for the launch of Sentinel-3A on 16 February, we have started fuelling this morning. It is a process that will take two days.
Yesterday, we did the last preparations for fuelling, which included checking the ‘feed throughs’ and having a certificate signed by Krunichev, putting the hydrazine drum in the right place for fuelling, deactivating certain electric plugs, checking for leaks, placing additional lights to ensure the fill and drain valve is clearly visible even in the event of the main lights going out and placing cameras in front of the working area.
Fuelling preps done. (ESA)
Since fuelling is such a hazardous exercise most of the team are working from the hotel today and Wednesday. It is only the propulsion team from Thales Alenia Space and our propulsion specialists Chris that will be involved in the fuelling. A doctor, security and safety officers will also be on hand.
Last night the rocket upper stage was returned from the launch pad by train after the dry run. Today is in another cleanroom being taken apart. ...