Tag Archives: fairing

Sealed from view

We got our last look at Sentinel-5P yesterday. Following electrical checks, the covers protecting the Tropomi instrument were removed and the two fairing halves were installed, sealing the satellite from view. It was an emotional moment for...

From red tags to the launch pad

From Catherine (ESA) 18 November It’s been a busy weekend. Following the satellite assembly being joined to the Rockot Breeze upper stage on Friday, the next task was to remove all the red tagged items. Parts that have to be removed before the satellites are encapsulated are marked with red tags.  There were 83 red tag items on each satellite, with 28 for the thrusters alone on each satellite. All the items were laid out on a table, one table for each satellite so they could be counted and recorded as having been removed. Sylvain (ESA), Klaus and Lutz (Astrium) had a very busy day counting and recounting to be sure everything...

Breeze upper stage sets off for launch pad

From Catherine (ESA), 22 October 2013 A series of electrical checks has been completed on the Rockot booster and today its starts its four-hour journey from the MIK to launch pad. It will then be lifted into position and prepared for launch. Krunichev has completed ‘fit checks’ of the upper stage and the fairing. There was a first inspection of the adapter and brackets on Friday and further preparation continued over the weekend. Meanwhile, the task of preparing the three Swarm satellites for liftoff on 14 November continues. This week, the focus has been on fixing the multilayer insulation to the satellites. Multilayer insulation blankets are used to help keep the satellites...

A nice clean fairing for Swarm

From Catherine (ESA), 17 October 2013 The process of cleaning the rocket’s fairing started in earnest yesterday. The fairing is the nose cone that  encapsulates the three Swarm satellites during the launch. Once outside Earth’s atmosphere the fairing is jettisoned.  Specialists cleaned the internal insulation layer of the fairing with isopropyl alcohol and then covered it with polythene to prevent any contamination. Today, the second half is being cleaned using the same procedure and will be covered and stored. Both halves will be kept in the cleanroom 101B until the satellites are encapsulated eight days before launch. Everything is progressing on schedule. Swarm FM1 and FM2 have had their batteries fully charged....

Hello Breeze

From Catherine (ESA), 14 October 2013 After a bit of final fine tuning the process of fuelling all three satellites is now completed. Once again the doors between the two halls were opened and Swarm FM1, the last satellite to be fuelled, was returned to join the other two in cleanroom 101A. The functional testing of all three satellites has also been completed and everything is in working order. These activities saw the departure of Karim Bouridah and Yves Bordes and four of the Astrium Friedrichshafen team who return to continue with the simulation campaign activities at ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. Claudia also left us, but she’ll be coming...

MetOp fairing: scrupulously clean

From Phi-Hung (ESA), Baikonur, 24 April The Soyuz fairing that will encapsulate MetOp, which arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in March, has passed a critical inspection. After the inside and outside of the fairing halves had had a through clean, they were transferred to the cleanroom ready for a ‘cleanliness inspection’ by the team from ESA, with members from Astrium and Eumetsat in attendance. This is a meticulous check where every inch of the fairing is carefully looked over using a white light and a UV lamp to make sure that it is free of ‘foreign object debris’ such as dust, particles, fibres, glue. Using the two different lamps means that the team...