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.
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.
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.
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.
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.