Yesterday was a very successful day, with respect to both the launcher and satellite activities.

We achieved a major milestone with the satellite: we are pleased to report that we have now fully completed the ‘stand-alone’ activities. Tests such as the tele-command and telemetry test via radio frequency link, the on-board clock, science data handling radio frequency power were all done.

The Post Test Review of the stand-along activities is planned for Friday.

In parallel, the team is also making preparations to store Sentinel-3A over Christmas. This entails removing unused test connectors, antenna test caps, etc.

We were also ble to establish a reliable connection with our ground segment in Darmstadt. Tomorrow we will end the testing with a dry-run of the launch count-down procedure. This is scheduled to last six hours, but one of the aims of the dry-run is to better estimate the timing of all the different sequencing.

After this last test the satellite will be ready to be put in storage for the Christmas break.

Huge progress made with the launch campaign so far and looking forward to launch early 2017. (ES/ATG medialab)

Huge progress made with the launch campaign so far and looking forward to launch early 2016. (ES/ATG medialab)

A meeting today allowed us to finalise the storage plan and the addendum to the security plan that defines security measures during the break. It is recalled that the satellite (at its ground support equipment) will be stored from 22 December until the 11 January, when work (and our launch campaign) resumes at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

To complete the positive day, a final agreement has been made between ESA and Khrunichev concerning the provision of the redundant line for the link between the MIK and the under table room. This was the last open issue and it has now been solved. The redundancy will be implemented straight away and it will be validated before the team leaves Plesetsk to go home for Christmas.

From the ESA Sentinel-3 launch campaign team at Plesetsk