Last note from Charlotte Beskow in Kourou working on ATV-4 launch preparations — Ed.
It is 32 degrees outside but in the office it is quite pleasant. The area has a holiday feeling since the successful Ariane launch on the evening of 19 December; the CNES CSG (Centre Spatial Guyanais) team are much more relaxed. That ended a very successful year for the people here in Kourou!
CSG closes its doors tomorrow morning and this applies also to the ATV team, so today there has been a steady stream of people coming in to say goodbye.
No doubt we will all meet at the airport later this evening.
I say ‘all’ but this is factually incorrect. As I write this, the cargo team are busy loading the nominal cargo into ATV.
The first axis is already done, and MGSE (Mechanical Ground Support Equipment) staff are rotating the ATV so that the remaining bags can be loaded. In January 2013, the big M1 cargo bags will be strapped on to the adapter plates and that will conclude nominal cargo loading. A second opportunity for cargo loading comes towards the end of March, when ATV will already be vertical on top of the launcher.