Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Sentinel-3A dances with northern lights

A surprising view of Sentinel-3A darting through the green flicker of the aurora borealis on its way into orbit has been captured on video from a hilltop in northern Finland. The Sentinel-3A satellite lifted off from Plesetsk...

Job done

By now I think you already know how the last few days have gone – we have a mission! The launch went perfectly, even if during the countdown we had a couple of little issues that disturbed...

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Sentinel-3A safely in orbit

The third ESA-developed satellite carrying four Earth-observing instruments was launched today, ready to provide a ‘bigger picture’ for Europe’s Copernicus environment programme.The 1150 kg Sentinel-3A satellite was carried into orbit on a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk, Russia,...

Today’s the day

Launch day has finally arrived and the teams in Plesetsk and at ESA’s European Operations Centre ESOC are readying for liftoff at 18:57 CET. All remains GREEN for launch. The satellite was switched on this morning and...

Fuelled and all looking good for big day tomorrow

So far everything has gone well …. so tomorrow is the big day Today, the Technical Commissions, both the one in Plesetsk than the one in Moscow, released the ok to fuel the Rockot launcher fuelling and...

Launch fully rehearsed

Let’s start from the conclusions and immediately state that the dress rehearsal was successful and now everything is ready for the real launch on tomorrow. Yesterday morning the early team left for the MIK where the first...

Full dress rehearsal starts

This morning we started the official dress rehearsal of the countdown with all parties involved – it started at 08:22 CET. So we’ve now entered the phase when the game is played mainly sitting in front of...

On the pad

Early this morning – meaning at 06:00 – we were greeted by a wonderful dawn with completely clear sky. Having arrived at the MIK 20 minutes before the start of the rollout, we saw the military’s last...

Ready to roll

After the exciting events of the past days, yesterday was the first time the work on the ‘flight hardware’ was fully in the hands of the Russian teams. Checks of the upper composite were completed, allowing a...

Signed, sealed and ready for delivery into orbit

Yesterday, the military forces were busy finalising the fairing. They sealed the various openings used to lock the fairing halves, painted the fairing in bright white and applied the ESA and Eurockot logos. The Russians also did...

Bye bye Sentinel-3A

Today, around 14:00 local time, the two halves of the fairing were finally closed and Sentinel-3A disappeared from sight. It was a very emotional moment after so many years of hard work. This morning the fairing, which...

Ready to meet rocket fairing

Sentinel-3A is ready to be sealed from view inside the Rockot fairing so today we will be saying good-bye to our baby. Most of yesterday was spent removing ‘non-flight protections’, i.e. items that do not go into...