As preparations for the launch of ESA’s latest Earth Explorer continue on track, the team at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana has bid farewell to the Aeolus satellite as it was sealed from view in its Vega rocket fairing – always an emotional moment for the team.

Aeolus ready for encapsulation. (ESA)

It’s all about precision. (ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Carefully does it. (ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Time to say farewell. (ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Once encapsulated in the rocket faring, the team signed the fairing sticker … many wishes for a bon voyage and successful mission.

Sealed and time to sign the fairing sticker. (ESA)

Good luck messages. (ESA)

Love from Gilles. (ESA)

The next major milestone on the road to launch will be the roll out to the launch pad and installation in the launch tower.

Liftoff is set for 21 August at 21:20 GMT (23:20 CEST).

Read more about the Aeolus mission.