Diary from a space project : Feb 4

Just in this morning from Charlotte at the start of a busy and crucial day at Kourou: installation of the fairing and encapsulation of ATV Johannes Kepler. She has also send in some neat photos. Thanks Charlotte!

D – 9 : Today is fairing day
Kourou, 4 February 2011 – Friday

This day is fixed in the launcher schedule - which means that it always occurs eight working days before the launch. Depending on how the work is going, this can be with or without Saturdays and Sundays.

We are just about to start the next-to-last main inspection check point before authorising the fairing. The last check point comes at 11:00 [15:00 CET] today - just before Arianespace starts hoisting the fairing at 12:00 [16:00 CET]. (She sent us the photos around 14:30 CET - Ed.)

ATV with most of the protections removed. Credits: ESA/C Beskow

ATV with most of the protections removed. Credits: ESA/C Beskow

ATV with most of its protection removed. Astrium people are busy putting the protection back into its casings for transport back to S5C.

Ariane fairing - progress is being made! Credits: ESA/C Beskow

Ariane fairing - progress is being made! Credits: ESA/C Beskow

When I leave the ATV BAF platform, on my way, I see the Arianespace teams who have made lots of progress. It's looking good!

Solar Array Protections. Credits:  ESA/C Beskow

Solar Array Protections. Credits: ESA/C Beskow

The Solar Array Protections.

Red flags on thrusters. Credits: ESA/C Beskow

Red flags on thrusters. Credits: ESA/C Beskow

Just like aircraft protection, the thrusters are marked with bold RED flags so that the protection cannot
be missed.

About Daniel

Daniel Scuka is Senior Editor for Spacecraft Operations at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
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