With just a few days to go before Sentinel-2B is launched into orbit around Earth, activities at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, have focussed mainly on the launcher – giving the team a little time to enjoy the carnival in town.

Carnival in Kourou. (ESA)

Now that the the Vega upper composite in the launch tower, the AVUM upper stage has been fuelled. Since rocket’s other stages use solid propellant they don’t need fuelling.

Sentinel-2B being positioned in the launch tower. (CNES)

Carnival is a pretty big deal in the region so the launch site has been very quiet these last days, but the team have still been working to prepare for liftoff at 02:49 CET on 7 March; 22:49 local time on 6 March.

In the Jupiter control room. (CNES)

This has involved some training in the ‘Jupiter room’ to get used to the set up and the terminology used during launch.

The site will be back to normal tomorrow as the holiday period ends and it’ll be full speed ahead for liftoff on Monday night.

Training for liftoff. (CNES)


From the ESA launch campaign team in Kourou.

Read more about the Sentinel-2 mission