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Preparing for Liftoff

Sentinel-3B: off to meet our satellite

14 Mar 2018, 16:25 UTC
Sentinel-3B: off to meet our satellite
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Yesterday it was –5°C and snowed gently all day. This is a bit of a contrast to the sunny weather we had last weekend, and even bigger contrast to the weather in the south of France where our satellite is waiting to depart. There it’s a lovely 21°C.
Train to Arkhangelsk. (ESA)

Anyway, in the morning it was time for the team to split up, some headed off on the bus to the launch site to complete the site inspection and further prepare the cleanrooms, while some of us caught the train for the four and a half hour journey to Archangelsk.
En route. (ESA)
Before leaving, the team made some calls and discussed the weather. The snow and cold affect the ‘braking coefficient’ of the big cargo aircraft. The weather is expected to worsen after Friday, so we need the plane to land before then.
Buffet on train. (ESA)
So the plan is for the satellite to leave Thales Alenia Space in Cannes this evening for Nice airport. It will then fly to Moscow on Thursday for customs clearance and on Arkhangelsk early Friday morning.
Our train ride to Archangelsk was slow but steady, passing through a landscape of ...

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