From ESA’s launch campaign team, Baikonur, 3 April

Setting up for alignment

Last week was busy, but things went well. The main activities included the pyro-connection, alignment, solar array integration and finishing off applying the multilayer insulation.

To take all the alignment measurements, the satellite was positioned vertically on a ‘rotary table’.

... and on to the rotary table

Measurements were taken using reference mirror cubes and thodolite to verify the instrument and the attitude and orbit control system were aligned. In total, 58 measurements were taken.

Ready to receive the solar array

Then came the task of joining the solar array to the satellite. To do this satellite was tilted and rotated to receive the array.

The integration the solar array was finally completed and tested.

Mini deploymentSolar array integration nears completion

In parallel, the multilayer insulation was applied to the satellite and by the end of the week MetOp-B was near to its launch configuration.

Nearing launch configuration

Fuelling and red-tag removal will follow!