Aeolus sets sail

Today is Global Wind Day, which couldn’t be more apt for ESA’s Aeolus wind satellite to begin its voyage to the launch site in French Guiana. And, while almost all satellites journey by aircraft, Aeolus is different,...

Sentinel-3B: Time to go home

With the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite safely in orbit and with the good news that the launch and early orbit phase was finished in record time – and following a launch campaign that lasted 49 days, it’s time...

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Sentinel-3B: Campaign highlights in video

The Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite spent six weeks at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia being carefully prepared for liftoff. After being shipped from France to the launch site, the satellite was tested, joined to the rocket launch adapter,...

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Sentinel-3B launched for Copernicus

The second Sentinel-3 satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-3B, was launched today, joining its identical twin Sentinel-3A in orbit. This pairing of satellites increases coverage and data delivery for the European Union’s Copernicus environment programme. The 1150 kg Sentinel-3B satellite...

Sentinel-3B: Ready for liftoff

With Sentinel-3B sitting and waiting patiently for liftoff and the launch dress rehearsal done, most of us had a day off yesterday – and now we are all rested and ready for tonight’s launch! Monday’s dress rehearsal...

Sentinel-3B poised

With the satellite being rolled out to the launch pad and positioned in the launch tower, it’s been a very exciting weekend. Last Friday, with the Rockot upper composite all finished, it was moved from the 101B...

Sentinel-3B fairing adorned

Sentinel-3B’s rocket fairing has now been adorned with the mission sticker and everyone has written good luck messages from themselves and on behalf of colleagues that are not in Plesetsk. ESA’s Patricia Lopez said. “It was nice...

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Last look at Sentinel-3B

On Monday, the team 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...

Sentinel-3B meets launch adapter

Over the weekend, Sentinel-3B was mated with the launch adapter in the next steps to prepare it for launch next week. Following successful independent testing of both the satellite and the Rockot launcher, we have now reached...

Sentinel-3B fully tanked

Getting a satellite ready to be launched involves a long list of jobs, but with Sentinel-3B now fuelled, this particular ‘to do’ list is significantly shorter. And, importantly, all is on track for liftoff on 25 April!...

Sentinel-3B: suited and booted

The fuelling team has been suited and booted for the hazardous task of filling the Sentinel-3B satellite with 130 kg of hydrazine – looking good guys! Since this is happening today, only the Thales Alenia Space fuelling...