According to ESA’s blog post today, all of the final preparations for Sentinel-3A’s upcoming launch have been made. The satellite had been in storage in its transport container over the three-week Christmas break, but was taken out on January 15th in order to resume the launch campaign. The satellite will soon be shipped to the Russian Cosmodrome, where it will be carried aboard a Rockot, a converted SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missile. Liftoff is planned for February 4th, 2016.
Read more about Sentinel-3A here.
A mission team member taking advantage of the satellite’s temporary horizontal position as he gives it a check up and removes some ‘non-flight’ items. Credit: ESA
Opening the container where Sentinel-3A was stored for three weeks. Credit: ESA
The launch campaign is ready to resume operations. Credit: ESA
As part of the preparations, the team moved the hydrazine fuel from their tanks in the general hall and placed them in the cleanroom. The task needed to be done a few days before the process of fuelling so that the hydrazine had enough time to stabilize. Credit: ESA
Snowy Plesetsk, where the Sentinel-3A satellite is stored.
This image shows a team member checking satellite telemetry as part of the rehearsal for February’s launch date. Credit: ESA.
The team at the end of the first week back in Plesetsk. Credit: ESA.
Sentinel 3A in Thales Alenia Space facility. Credit: ESA
The satellite in its vertical position, ready to be filled with fuel. Credit: ESA