Tag Archives: launch tower

Green light to fuel rocket

The day before launch, and the process of fuelling the Rockot launcher that will take Swarm into orbit has started at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Yesterday evening the State Commission authorised the go-ahead to fuel the launcher. This formal authorisation confirms that launch can take place, as planned on 22 November at 13:02 (CET). The authorisation follows a formal review, which concluded that the satellite, the launcher, the launch pad, the cosmodrome and the ground station network is ready. Fuelling therefore stated this morning at 07:00 CET (10:00 local time) and should be completed by 22:00 CET.

Recap: encapsulation and off to the launch pad

From Catherine (ESA), 19 November 2013 So, a recap on the last couple of days, which have been very busy. On Sunday, the satellites were safely encapsulated in the fairing – it looked a very snug fit! The process of connecting the two halves of the fairing was actually very quick. We took our last look at the satellites before the two halves of the fairing were closed and locked together. After a few adjustments, the fairing was lowered onto the Breeze and encapsulation was completed.  In the evening, once Krunichev had finalised all the work on the fairing, they attached ESA’s Swarm sticker and also Eurockot’s – and we were all...

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...

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...