Following successful independent testing of both the Sentinel-5p satellite and the Rockot launcher, we have now reached another phase, that of ‘joint operations’.
This is the point where all teams work together to mount the satellite on Rockot’s upper stage and fit it in the fairing.
Carefully lifting the fuelled satellite onto the launch adapter. (ESA)
Yesterday, we achieved the first step in the process by mating the satellite to the launch adapter.
This was a very delicate operation as the now-fuelled satellite was lifted from the stand on the fuelling platform onto the adapter.
Perfect fit. (ESA)
The lengthy process of installing the clamp band and umbilicals then started. We didn’t finish until about 23:00 local time so it was a long day, but a successful one.
In parallel, Eric inspected the rocket fairing to ensure it met the stringent cleanliness requirements of the instrument prior to encapsulation next week.
Making sure the inside of the rocket fairing is spotless. (ESA)
At ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, simulations continued in preparation for the launch.
Launch simulations at ESOC. (ESA)
The other afternoon, we did something completely different as we received permission to spend some time at the local ...