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Preparing for Liftoff

Sunrise at midnight

16 Mar 2017, 15:10 UTC
Sunrise at midnight
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Editor’s note: This post was contributed by Dieter Pikulski, who won the Copernicus Masters GEO Illustration Challenge. Part of his prize was a trip to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou to witness the launch of Sentinel-2B.
If you can imagine an action-cam mounted to a rocket and a thundering 3D sound experience, this story is definitely for you.
For this is what it feels like when you look at the impressive images of the rocket launch – while trying to figure out the exact number of subwoofers that would be needed to create such a sound (from a distance of 12 km). What happens there is just breathtaking!
Visit to Vega launch tower (Credits: D. Pikulski)
Thanks to GEO magazine and an illustration challenge I had entered and won, I was allowed to join the ESA delegation visiting the launch of the Sentinel-2B satellite. Before the actual launch, an intensive schedule including visits to the assembly hangars of Ariane 5 and Soyuz as well as to each of the three launch pads (including the ‘headliner’ Vega) made the hours fly by. It was just unbelievable that we could literally touch these rockets … at least those that were not launching on ...

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