Proba-2 with solar panels mounted
Enabling & Support

Entry 10: Completing Proba-2

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Proba Missions

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.

Inside view of spacecraft with battery mounted, prior to closure
Inside view of spacecraft with battery mounted, prior to closure

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.

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Entry 1: Belgium says goodbye to Proba-2

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Loading of Proba-2 container in cargo plane at Brussels airport
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Entry 2: Proba-2's journey to Plesetsk

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Transport of Proba-2 container to the MIK
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Entry 3: Unpacking after the trip

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Opening of the Proba-2 satellite container in the cleanroom
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Entry 4: Proba-2 unloaded and ready for inspection

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Hoisting of satellite from its container and assembly of integration dolly
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Entry 5: Proba-2 powered up

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Inspection of Proba-2 internal compartments
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Entry 6: End-to-end testing

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Filling of the propulsion tank with xeon
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Entry 7: Filling Proba-2 up with xenon

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Mounting of the first deployable solar panel
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Entry 8: Proba-2 gains a solar panel

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Mounting of solar panel
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Entry 9: Proba-2 gains its second ‘wing’

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Proba-2 with solar panels mounted
Enabling & Support

Entry 10: Completing Proba-2

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Proba-2 final full functional test
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Entry 11: Putting Proba-2 to the test

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Proba-2 launch team group picture at the museum
Enabling & Support

Entry 12: Checking launch tower links

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Proba-2 back in its storage container in the cleanroom
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Entry 13: Letting SMOS take its turn

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Proba-2 team arrival at Plesetsk Cosmodrome
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Entry 14: Second phase of Proba-2 launch campaign begins

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ESP mounting on the final panel
Enabling & Support

Entry 15: Last bolts tightened on Proba-2

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Proba-2
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Entry 16: A short journey off the ground – Proba-2 mated to…

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Proba-2 in its final launch position, on top of Breeze
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Entry 17: Proba-2 mated onto Breeze upper stage

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Removal of Proba-2 protective covers
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Entry 18: Encapsulated, Proba-2 vanishes from view forever

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Encapsulation
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Entry 19: Proba-2 in place and powered up

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SMOS, Proba-2 and Khrunichev teams
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Entry 20: Rail ride to the launch pad

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Joined dress rehearsal of Proba-2 and SMOS in MCC
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Entry 21: Far-flung dress rehearsal for launch

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