DSA in Antonov

Gaia sunshield in Antonov before departure to Kourou

Today is dedicated for preparations for the arrival of the second shipment with the Deployable Sunshield Assembly and the electrical ground support test equipment. We just heard that the Anotonov has arrived at the airport in Cayenne and the off-load is currently ongoing. It will then be transported by truck to the spaceport. We’ll share pictures once it has arrived.

Here is a nice animation showing the deployment of Gaia’s 10m diameter sunshade once in space.

Meanwhile, the launch team continues to grow with the arrival of ESA and Astrium members. With the inspection of the satellite successfully completed, preparations continue for the start of the check-out of the propulsion systems. People will continue to arrive this week.  

Ariane 5 rocket launch pad_1

Ariane 5 rocket to on launch pad at CSG

The image of the day today comes from the transfer of the Ariane 5 rocket to its launch pad. This flight is designated as VA215 and contains two telecommunications satellites which will be launched tomorrow afternoon.