The Sentinel-3B shipment has now arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and the team has been busy getting everything into the facilities.
The Antonov cargo aircraft left Nice, France, in the late evening on 16 March. The flight had been delayed a couple of days because of ice on the runway at Arkhangelsk. Such a heavy aircraft needs a particular ‘braking coefficient’ to land safely.
Arrival at Arkhangelsk. (ESA)
After a stopover in Moscow to clear the paperwork, it was onto Arkhangelsk, where the weather had improved compared to the days before.
Then the cargo, which included the container holding Sentinel-3B and a number of other containers of equipment needed to prepare the satellite for launch, was off-loaded and transferred by lorry to a train for the onward journey to Plesetsk.
On the train. (ESA)
The team had to endure temperatures of –15°C that felt like –21°C with the wind-chill factor … but by the time they were done, around midnight, it had dropped to –22°C ….. that’s –29°C taking the wind chill into account ….brrrrrrr!
In fact, people could only work outside for around 15 minutes at a time and had to have a five-minute break in ...