MSG-3 delivers first image
MSG-3 today captured its first image of Earth with its Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI).
MSG-3 first image (Credits: EUMETSAT)
After performing the critical 11-day Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), ESA officially handed MSG-3 operations over to Eumetsat on 16 July for the commissioning operations.
Commissioning will last about six months and includes checking that the imaging service is fully functional and delivers high-quality products for weather forecasting. This first image demonstrates that MSG-3 is performing well and is on its way to taking over operational service.
MSG-3 next steps
Following yesterday’s successful lift off, the launch campaign in Kourou is now drawing to a close.
Launch of MSG-3 (credits: ESA/VNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG)
The team in ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, is carrying out important checks on the MSG-3 as part of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP).
LEOP lasts 10 days. If all goes well, MSG-3 is then officially handed over to Eumetsat for in-orbit testing and commissioning, although ESA and industry continue to support this phase.
Commissioning ends when the complete satellite and ground systems are verified and validated, so that MSG-3 can be declared ready for operations. This should be in about six months from now.
MSG-3 is then renamed Meteosat-10 and will become the prime geostationary satellite providing full disk images of the European and African continents and parts of the Atlantic and Indian oceans, every 15 minutes.
Meteosat-9 will deliver more frequent images over Europe - every five minutes, providing the Rapid Scan Service.
MSG-3 lifts off
Ariane 5 lifted on at 23:36 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana carrying MSG-3 and EchoStar.
Ariane 5 lift off
MSG-3 on its way
Looking good for MSG-3
MSG-3 weather ‘green’ fuelling authorised
The weather in Kourou is 'green' so authorisation has been given to fuel the Ariane 5 rocket for today's launch. With launch is set for 23:36 CEST, countdown has begun.
Ariane 5 Flight VA207 on the launchpad (credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG)
MSG-3 on the launch pad
MSG-3 has been rolled out to the launch pad 3 km away from the integration facilities at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
MSG-3 on the launch pad at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. (credits: ESA)
Launch is set for today at 23.36 CEST. The launch window closes at 00.05. Watch the launch live at www.esa.int.
MSG-3: ready for roll out
The Launch Readiness Review took place yesterday and the transfer of the launcher to the launch pad has been authorised for today. The Ariane 5 carrying MSG-3 is now ready for roll out to Launch Pad at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
MSG-3 in the Ariane 5 ready for roll out to the launch pad in French Guiana.(credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)
Launch is confirmed for Thursday 5 July at 23:36 CEST. The launch window closes at 00:05 CEST.
The launch of MSG-3 will ensure the continuity of meteorological observations to improve weather forecasts from geostationary orbit 36 000 km above Earth.
MSG-3: launch dress rehearsal completed
The dress rehearsal, which was carried on on 29 June, simulates the procedures to be carried out on the day of launch from launch minus 10 hours to launch plus 30 minutes when MSG-3 separates from the luancher.
Control room at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana (credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)
During the rehearsal, teams worked where they will be during the real launch, including the LBC room where the satellite is monitored and the Jupiter-2 control room. ESA's European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Germany were also in the loop.
The next milestones are:
Launch readiness review on Tuesday
Roll out of launcher on Wednesday
Launch on Thursday. The launch window opens at 23:36 and closes at 00: 05 (CEST).
MSG-3 encapsulated in the Ariane 5 fairing
Encapsulation of the MSG satellite went ahead as planned on 27 June.
This means that the configuration of the launcher is now complete with MSG and its co-passenger, EchoStar, inside the rocket’s faring.
EchoStar is in upper position in the fairing and MSG below.
With this new milestone complete, the final steps before launch on 5 July will include functional tests, launch rehearsal, readiness review and rollout to the launch pad.
MSG-3 now encapsulated in the Ariane 5 fairing
MSG-3 satellite mated to Ariane launcher
MSG-3 has been moved to the Final Assembly Building or ‘BAF’ as it is known at the launch site and mated to the top of the Ariane 5 rocket. This is one of the final steps in the campaign to make MSG-3 ready for launch on 5 July.
The satellite was first placed in the payload container so that it could be safely towed by truck to the BAF. It’s about 10 km between facilities so the transfer took about two hours.
The pictures below offer some insight into what’s being going on in Kourou over the last couple of days. Since the mating procedure is Arianespace’s responsibility, only a few of the campaign team were there to witness the event. The photos of the mating were captured from the TV monitor so they are a bit fuzzy.
MSG-3 being mated to the Ariane 5
MSG-3 sealed within the payload container for transfer to the BAF
MSG-3 positioned within the payload container before sealing
MSG-3 satellite meets the launch adapter
Another milestone has been reached in the campaign to prepare MSG-3 for launch: the satellite has been joined to the launch adapter.
Releasing MSG-3 from the fuel stand. The launch adapter can be seen in the background. (credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)
The MSG-3 satellite was taken off the fuel stand and mated to the launch adapter on Friday 22 June. Since the satellite is now fully fuelled, this a rather hazardous operation.
Between fuelling stand and launch adapter. (credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)
The first step was to unclamped the satellite from the stand that supported it during fuelling. Attached to a crane, the satellite was then lifted slightly and slowly moved across the room to line up with the launch adapter.
Nearing the launch adapter. (credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)
The satellite was then lowered very carefully onto the adapter and then securely clamped.
MSG-3 joins launch adapter. (credits: ESA/C. Soulez-Lariviere)