Usually work is well and truly focused on cleanroom activities, but today some of the Aeolus team in Kourou were lucky enough to get a view of the launch of four Galileo on an Ariane 5.

Galileo lifts off. (ESA)

Galileo is Europe’s own global satellite navigation system, consisting of both the satellites in space and their associated ground infrastructure. These latest four Galileo satellites will bring the constellation in orbit up to 26 satellites.

Being moved from the integration stand. (ESA)

Good timing Aeolus team!

Cleaning in process. (ESA)

Back to Aeolus and tasks are being ticked off the ‘to do’ list in the run up to launch on 21 August.

An ultraviolet torch is used to detect dust. (ESA)

The satellite has been cleaned, centimetre by centimetre. A faint purple light can be seen in the photo above, but this is actually a powerful ultraviolet torch the team uses to detect particles of dust. If any particles are found, they are removed with a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner.  This is a bit of a tedious task, but one that is necessary.

Fuel waiting. (ESA)

The satellite has also been placed on a vertical stand, which will be used for fuelling. And the fuel is ready and waiting – and and the photo shows, the team is a happy team.

Happy team. (ESA)

Read more about the Aeolus mission.