Launch milestone achieved: last-ever look at CryoSat

Sep 29, 2005

As preparations for the launch of CryoSat on 8 October continue on schedule, the satellite has now been sealed beyond physical control from the outside world.

On 26 September, the two half-shells of the payload fairing were fastened, encapsulating CryoSat. They will not be opened again until the spacecraft has left the atmosphere on its way to final orbit deployment 717 kilometers about the Earth.

The delicate operation of joining CryoSat to the Breeze upper stage took place a few days ago. Once the electrical interfaces had been checked and the outer fabric-layer of the thermal insulation blanket had been adjusted, the final 'red-tagged' items were removed from the spacecraft before the fairing was carefully closed. This was time for the ESA and Astrium engineers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome to take a step back and take one last look at 'their' satellite.

Now that the fairings are closed, the explosive-equipment is being installed. A number of electrical tests will be performed on the Breeze stage before the thermal cover and ventilation system are added. Then, on Saturday 1 October, the Breeze carrying CryoSat will be rolled out to the launch pad where it will be mated with the lower two stages of the Rockot launcher.

Once locked to the launcher, the engineers will verify that contact with the satellite can be established and start charging the battery. Additional electrical tests will follow and a launch rehearsal will take place on 5 October. The Rockot launcher will then be fuelled ready for launch on 8 October.

Explore further: The latest observations of interstellar particles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NRL scientists optimize arctic sea ice data products

Mar 26, 2012

Scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Marine Geosciences Division are assisting NASA, the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and the European Space Agency (ESA) ...

NASA's IceBridge 2012 Arctic campaign takes to the skies

Mar 15, 2012

Researchers and flight crew with NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study changes in polar ice, began another season of science activity with the start of the 2012 Arctic campaign on March 13. From mid-March ...

NASA to launch weather-climate satellite Oct 27

Oct 12, 2011

A satellite that aims to help weather forecasters predict extreme storms and offer scientists a better view of climate change is being readied for launch this month, NASA said Wednesday.

Wheels up for extensive survey of Arctic ice

Mar 15, 2011

Researchers and flight crew arrived in Thule, Greenland, on Monday, March 14, for the start of NASA's 2011 Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study changes in Arctic polar ice. This year's plans include ...

Recommended for you

The latest observations of interstellar particles

31 minutes ago

With all the news about Voyager 1 leaving the heliosphere and entering interstellar space you might think that the probe is the first spacecraft to detect interstellar particles. That isn't entirely true, ...

Hepatitis C virus proteins in space

40 minutes ago

Two researchers at Technische Universität München have won the 'International Space Station Research Competition' with their project 'Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus.' As their prize, the scientists will ...

Very Long Baseline Array takes radio image of Voyager 1

1 hour ago

The image above is a radio image of Voyager 1. It was taken from the Very Long Baseline Array, which is a collection of 10 radio telescopes scattered from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. It captures the faint ...

User comments : 0