Posted on November 21, 2013 by Daniel
L-1: Update from Plesetsk
ESA’s Swarm mission to study the Earth’s magnetic field is on its launch pad! Lift off is currently scheduled at 13:02 CET, 22 November 2013, on top of a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk in Northern Russia. This...
Posted on November 21, 2013 by Honora
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.
Posted on October 25, 2013 by Daniel
Swarm teams training at ESOC
A great update today from ESA's Catherine Watson, on the Swarm project team and actually now in Plesetsk, describing activities back at 'mission control' – ESOC. She wrote: "We are having a quiet phase here in Plesetsk and it would be a good opportunity to describe how the teams at ESOC in Darmstadt are also rather busy with Swarm preparations." Back at Mission Control Preparations are continuing in the Mission Operation Centre, housed within ESA's ESOC facility in Darmstadt, for the Launch and Commissioning Phase. Colleagues from the Swarm Project Team at ESTEC and from an Industrial team have joined the Flight Operation team at ESOC to prepare for launch day. Their first...
Posted on October 9, 2013 by Honora
More fuelling, more testing and more moving
From Claudia (ESA), 9 October 2013 Fuelling, testing and moving three identical satellites in and out of the fuelling room certainly involves some meticulous planning. The team finished fuelling Swarm FM2 on Saturday, leaving it to settle for the rest of the weekend. It was then tested for leaks on Monday and all was fine. So, the guys were then cleared to move the satellite back to cleanroom 101a and Swarm FM1 took its place in 101b. We started fuelling Swarm FM1 this morning. In addition, the absolute scalar magnetometers were tested yesterday – for all three satellites. These sensors are positioned right at the end of the satellites’ boom. They measure...
Posted on September 24, 2013 by Honora
Three in a row
From Gianfranco (ESA), 22 September 2013 The third Swarm satellite arrived safely in Plesetsk at the weekend, on Saturday 21 September. I personally accompanied the satellite on its trip from Munich to Plesetsk. Space for passengers on the Ilyushin IL-76 was pretty tight, but it was an interesting experience. Custom clearance at Arkhangelsk, or Archangel, went very smoothly. This third flight completes the shipment for the Swarm launch campaign. In total, we have shipped six 6 metre-long containers carrying more than 60 000 kg of cargo. We spent the rest of the weekend continuing with the tasks of unpacking and setting up in the MIK. By 15.00 on Sunday we had the...