Friday 11th September – Today sees another major step in Proba-2’s preparation for flight: final mechanical integration is officially completed – everything that should be attached to the spacecraft has been attached.
It has taken a lot of delicate work to get this far, and the team’s relief is tangible. The spacecraft is now complete in its flight configuration - except for a last panel, to be integrated at the last moment, for further testing and late access to the flight battery. The ESP, an experiment to concentrate sunlight on a solar panel and one of 17 technology experiments being flown, has also been made ready for flight.
In parallel work continues in the EGSE (Electrical Ground Support Equipment) room, preparing for tomorrow’s fully functional test of the spacecraft. All the various tasks necessary for success are being reviewed. In addition further LEOP (Launch and Early Operations Phase) activities are being practiced using the satellite simulator integrated with the ground segment software.
Today’s warm and sunny weather even inspires a rare exodus beyond the MIK large integration building where the team spends all its long working hours – they have an impromptu picnic on the surrounding grass.