Following its arrival at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 29 June, the Aeolus satellite has been taken out from its transport container, placed on its integration trolley for testing and connected to its electrical support equipment.

Aeolus revealed (ESA – G. Labruyère)

Initial checks indicate that both Aeolus and its instrument have withstood its journey from France in good condition.

Aeolus positioned on trolley (ESA – G. Labruyère)

ESA’s Aeolus project manager, Anders Elfving, said, “We are obviously all extremely pleased that Aeolus has now arrived at the launch site. An awful lot of work and planning went into making sure it arrived safe and sound  – now it’s full steam ahead for preparing the satellite for liftoff on 21 August.”

The team has also done the ‘ launch adapter fit check’, which is to make sure that the satellite actually fits the Vega rocket adapter and confirms that everything is aligned. This too went well.

Checking that Aeolus fits its launch adapter (ESA – G. Labruyère)

Cranes were then used to position Aeolus back on its integration stand.

…and back on the trolley (ESA – G. Labruyère)

It hasn’t been all work work work for the team though. Some of them managed to get a quick look at the launch site: the Aeolus flag, the Ariane 5 rocket moving on the launch pad and the Soyuz launch pad.

Aeolus flag (ESA)


Ariane 5 moving on the launch pad (ESA)


In front of the Soyuz launch tower (ESA)

Read more about the Aeolus mission.