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 video report from Plesetsk was recorded on 21 November and during the launch preparation campaign. It shows teams working on the Swarm satellites to integrate them together with the Breeze-KM upper stage and the protective aerodynamic fairing. It includes footage of the satellites' roll-out to the launch pad on 18 November and hoisting to the top of the Rockot launcher.
ESA's Swam Launch Campaign Manager Bruno Bergaglio provides a report from the launch pad, and the video ends with snowy November views of the town of Mirny, located just a few kilometres from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
Swarm is a constellation of three satellites flying in formation to measure the magnetic field from the centre of the Earth to the outermost reaches of the magnetosphere – the protective bubble that shields us from dangerous solar particles and radiation.