On Monday, the team in Plesetsk had a busy day moving Sentinel-3B to a different cleanroom and mating it with the rocket’s upper stage.
To do this, the satellite was hoisted into the air and then lowered onto the upper stage. Once it was assembled and secured on top of the Breeze, the handling device could be removed.
Hoisted into the air (Credits: ESA)
At the end of the day, Sentinel-3B was ready to meet the fairing the next day.
Sentinel-3B atop Rockot upper stage (Credits: ESA-S. Corvaja)
Yesterday, most of the day was then dedicated to the finalization of the satellite flight configuration.
This means removing ‘non-flight protections’, i.e. items that do not go into space and have to be removed from the satellite. So this involved, for example, removing all remaining red-tagged items and the protective covers from the instruments and antennas.
Removing red-tagged items (Credits: ESA)
At the end of these activities, Sentinel-3B was finally ready to be sealed from view inside the Rockot fairing.
Ready to meet fairing (Credits: ESA-S. Corvaja)
We then needed to make sure that the clearance between the satellite and the fairing was ok. This is a critical point – especially because ...