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Preparing for Liftoff

Signed, sealed and ready for delivery into orbit

11 Feb 2016, 10:01 UTC
Signed, sealed and ready for delivery into orbit
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Yesterday, the military forces were busy finalising the fairing. They sealed the various openings used to lock the fairing halves, painted the fairing in bright white and applied the ESA and Eurockot logos. The Russians also did some electrical checks. In parallel, the Thales team started packing for the return home.
Signing fairing nose tip. (ESA)
In the early afternoon, the satellite was switched on followed by some checks – everything was fine.
Painting the fairing. (ESA)
While this was happening we all got rather emotional as all the teams were allowed to access the higher part of the fairing and sign the sticker. We added thoughts and messages to wish our baby well for launch and its life in orbit.
Sentinel-3A fairing sticker signed off. (ESA)
This was really the last moment we could ‘touch’ the fairing and say good-bye and it was evident how emotional all of us felt.
At this point we would like also to mention another peculiarity we discovered in the past days when we saw the Chief of the military forces in charge of Rockot activities busy studying astronomical maps and making copies of pages.
Star map used to trace Libra constellation for Rockot ...

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