Back to Plesetsk and brrrrr… it’s cold

We were greeted by clear sunny skies … but the temperature of –27°C was a bit of a shock as we arrived in Plesetsk yesterday to resume the launch campaign for Sentinel-3A.

Back to Plesetsk to resume the Sentinel-3A launch campaign. (ESA)

Back to Plesetsk to resume the Sentinel-3A launch campaign. (ESA)

The 22 of us arrived together: 14 from Thales Alenia Space, 2 from Eurockot and 6 of us from ESA.

Thanks to the cold and dry weather, we had very nice views of the surroundings and the town of Mirny, which was covered by snow, during the flight.

So winter has well and truly started here and later this week they are expecting temperatures as low as –36°C to –40°C.

At the hotel, a warm welcome was waiting for us from the four Thales and Khrunichev people who have been babysitting our satellite over the past three weeks.

Sentinel-3A has been sleeping safe and sound in its container.

Sentinel-3A being put into storage for the Christmas break. (ESA)

Sentinel-3A being put into storage for the Christmas break. (ESA)

The cleanroom facilities of the MIK have been cleaned and the air conditioning system has been switched on again.

Today, we start our first day of work. We first have to check the cleanroom and prepare to open Sentinel-3’s container. Assuming everything is ok, we’ll open the container on Wednesday and then we’ll be ready to resume the final countdown to launch on 4 February.

From the ESA Sentinel-3A team at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia.

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