ESA ESTRACK engineer Gerhard Billig is with the team at the Agency’s Santa Maria station, located way the heck out in the Atlantic Ocean, to track Ariane 5 VA213 today.

Teams at Santa Maria stationGerhard just mailed:

We actually had the first voice contact [with the CNES & Arianespace flight controllers] just now.

Internal checks are finished, we are preparing for the first data flow test with Kourou.

The weather today is quite typical Azorean, currently windy and a light spray rain; there was some sunshine earlier on. All 4 seasons in one day 😉

Teams at Santa Maria station