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Preparing for Liftoff

Sentinel-3A meets flight and launch adapters

8 Feb 2016, 09:27 UTC
Sentinel-3A meets flight and launch adapters
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Over the weekend, Sentinel-3A was mated with the flight and launch adapters in the next steps to prepare it for launch next week.
Mating of S-3A on Breeze
While Saturday’s mating with the flight adapter was successful, there was a minor hiccup:
In order to install the clamp-band which fixes the satellite to the adapter, it needs to be positioned, heated up to 100°C, clamped and then cooled. During the cooling, the pre-tension of the clamp-band increases and at ambient temperature the nominal clamp-band tension has to be reached, otherwise the entire process needs to be repeated. Once the tension is reached, the adapter spring actuators are installed, the spacecaft umbilicals are connected and the adapter pyros are installed. The total process takes between 5 and 7 hours.
Saturday’s pre-tensioning process had to be repeated twice in order to reach the correct value, leading to a completion of this activity at around 20:00 in the evening.
The first switch-on of the satellite on the adapter was then successfully performed, together with a set of electrical checks to prove that the new assembly is working properly.
Mating of S-3A on adaptator
Yesterday, Sentinel-3A and the flight adapter was transferred from the ...

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