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 computers.

Rehearsing countdown. (ESA)

Rehearsing countdown. (ESA)

The fully integrated launch vehicle, including the payload, is now standing on the launch pad undergoing the last preparatory activities on launcher side.

Yesterday, we performed the ‘pre dress rehearsal’ – the one ‘internal’ to the project to verify the correct sequence and duration of each countdown step. Nevertheless, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre ESOC connected for the duration to listen in, just to ensure all links are OK.

Rehearsing in Plesetsk. (ESA)

Rehearsing in Plesetsk. (ESA)

In parallel to preparing for launch day, the formal certification of the readiness to launch (Launch Readiness Review LRR) is being prepared.

We received separate LRR presentations from ESOC and from Thales Alenia Space confirming their respective readiness with the only open point being today’s successful completion of the full dress rehearsal.

The Russian dress rehearsal also takes place in parallel but it will end before ours. At the end of it, they will be ready to confirm launcher vehicle readiness.

Similarly, we will be able to state satellite final readiness at the end of our dress rehearsal.

Late this evening we will communicate our satellite readiness to the Russian Military Chief of the Rockot activities who will then participate early Monday morning in the ‘State Commission’, which should then give the final green light to the launch and authorise the fuelling of the Rockot Booster.

Packing up. (ESA)

Packing up. (ESA)

At the MIK, both Thales and ESA teams continued the packing of our containers.

And, just to let you know that the Thales staff that was injured yesterday left Plesetsk escorted by a doctor, by noon he should be at home.

In conclusion, everything remains GREEN for the launch (becoming a bit white as some snowflakes have started falling).

Weather in Plesetsk: 0/-4 °C, cloudy.

For information about our Sentinel-3 mission visit

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