Satellite fuelling on hold

Although the plan was to start the hazardous process of fuelling Sentinel-3A on Wednesday, unfortunately we’ve have had to put a hold on preparing our satellite for launch.

Making ready for fuelling. (ESA)

Making ready for fuelling. (ESA)

Khrunichev explained that apparently the launch pad needs to be ‘re-certified’ and they have to do another dry run with the complete launcher. This means that liftoff will be delayed a couple of weeks and is likely to be pushed into the second half of February.

A new launch date should be confirmed early next week.

Ready to fuel. (ESA)

Ready to fuel. (ESA)

With information we have, the plan is to go-ahead with fuelling on 2 February, but we are rescheduling all our activities for the coming weeks.

Looking over the schedule. (ESA)

Looking over the schedule. (ESA)

Some team members from Thales Alenia Space and ESA may take a short break to return home, however, but most of us will stay at the launch site to babysit the satellite. This allows us to resume preparations for fuelling as soon as we get the green flag.

At –21°C it’s still pretty chilly here but the skies are clear.

Team chat. (ESA)

Team chat. (ESA)

For information about our Sentinel-3 mission visit www.esa.int/sentinel-3.

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

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