This just in from ESA’s Dieter Amend at Kourou tracking station, our 15m ground station located not too far from the Vega launch pad. In fact, he and the on-site engineering team will shortly leave the station, as it is within the risk zone from liftoff. The station is fully configured for LISA Pathfinder launch on board Vega VV06, and will be remotely controlled from ESOC until the team returns after Vega has departed.
Some info from Kourou.
1. Kourou Station
– weather conditions: no rain, a few clouds
– Station manned since H0 – 06:00 to follow the Network Countdown
2. Station Evacuation to CDL3 Bunker
At H0 -01:45 the station team has to evacuate the site because of safety reasons. Two members of the team will go to the bunker of the VEGA Control Centre Building, CDL3, ca. 1 km off the launch pad, to be back at the station in time for 1st acquisition of signals from LISA Pathfinder at 05:51 UTC (the Ground Operations Manager at ESOC will have remote control of the station).
3. Back at station
The Kourou local team will return to the station at about H0 + 01:00 and will again take over control to prepare the station for signal reception from the launcher and the spacecraft.