ESA’s Aeolus wind satellite is poised for liftoff from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This latest Earth Explorer satellite has been at the launch site since early July being readied for its ride into space on 21 August at 21:20 GMT (23:20 CEST).

Up she goes. (ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Aeolus almost at the top of the launch tower. (ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Aeolus was sealed from view in its Vega rocket fairing last week, after which it was rolled out to the launch pad, hoisted into the launch tower and joined to the rest of the rocket.

Hissage composite en ZLV, le 09/08/2018

ESA’s Gilles Labruyère said, “The umbilicals are connected. The charge of the battery can start. Apart from talking through cables, there are very few ways to touch Aeolus. The fairing has a small door, but no windows!”

Being fitted to the rest of the Vega rocket. (ESA)

Read more about the Aeolus mission.