Author Archives: Charlotte

2018: Complete With 11 Launches

On December 19th, the 11th launch from Europe’s Spaceport in 2o18 took place. Six Ariane 5 launches, two Vega launches, and three Soyuz launches, resulting in a total of 23 satellites launched into orbit (or beyond, for...

Final Launch of 2018 from Europe’s Spaceport

Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, Europe’s spaceport will put another satellite into orbit, making it the 23rd for the year (I count BepiColombo as three spacecrafts). The CSO-1 satellite is the eleventh launch of 2018...

Ariane 6 Mobile Gantry: Complete

Thirteen months almost to the day after its kick-off, the assembly of the metal structure of the Ariane 6 mobile gantry is coming to an end. The building now reaches 100 metres in height, dominating 150 hectares...

BepiColombo launch in 3… 2… 1…

We are at J-1, i.e. the day before the planned launch of the BepiColombo satellite that will be en route to Mercury. The three-satellite-stack is under the fairing of the Ariane 5 launcher, now on its way...

Presenting the Background of BepiColombo

On October 11, roughly a week before the launch of BepiColombo, AIV engineer Bernard Guillaume presented the project to the general public of Kourou at the local cinema. This was the fourth such conference held in the...

22 Years, 2 Months, and 100 Launches of Ariane 5

It’s Sunday, September 23rd, and we are two days away from the planned launch of Ariane launch VA243: the one-hundreth Ariane 5 flight. On a summer’s day over two decades ago, June 4th 1996, I was present...

Dutch Visitors at CSG

A group of students from the Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands, are visiting us. They are studying Corporate Social Responsibility and are enjoying some equatorial sun before returning home in time for autumn. They will spend a...

Aeolus Lift-Off!

After one day’s delay in order to ensure the best possible weather conditions, Aeolus has been successfully launched! As described in an earlier post, Aeolus is going to be a tremendous breakthrough in weather forecasting and meteorology...

MetOp-C Launch Campaign

I took the opportunity to visit one of the four ESA launch campaigns currently on site, MetOp-C. Once in orbit, it will be operated by the organisation Eumetsat. Eumetsat is a European agency, created in 1986, whose...

Record Level of Activities at the Spaceport

Currently, we are working on four launch campaigns. This is a lot even by the Guiana Space Centre standards, and the reason is that two of them are quite long: BepiColombo and MetOp-C. Today, with the arrival...

Ariane Flight 245: BepiColombo 

Late afternoon on Tuesday, June 5th, I paid a visit to my ESA colleagues in S5 — the biggest payload preparation building. During my ATV years, I spent many months inside these offices and ATV certainly left...

ActInSpace and the Kourou Space Museum

The European Spaceport in French Guiana is more than just a launch base. Space is a very diverse community. My reply to the question of “Who works in Space?” is “Everyone”. In other words, in this industry,...

Come to Rome in May, the Weather is Wonderful…

I am in Frascati for the ESA Launchers Program Board that is held Thursday-Friday this week. The Program Board is a meeting between the ESA executive, i.e. the managers of the Programmes (Space Transportation in this case),...