Transport of Proba-2 container to the MIK
Enabling & Support

Entry 3: Unpacking after the trip

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

4 September 2009 – Individual team members have ventured this way before, but today is the first time the entire Proba-2 team journeys together to the MIK. Plesetsk's main integration facility is where they will be spending most of their time in the weeks to come. The 45 minute drive follows a lonely road through the taiga forest, crossing several security checkpoints and the occasional military base.

There waiting for them in the main integration area is Proba-2. It remains secured within its packing container, located in the main integration area, next to the launcher scheduled to shoot the satellite into space. So begins two days of inspections, safety security briefings and a large amount of unpacking.

All the boxes have to be removed from the main container and placed inside designated offices, test room and clean room. It is also a period of patient learning as the team familiarises themselves with a completely different working environment, due to cultural differences and the fact that Plesetsk is a high security military complex.

But the team's objectives were met, thanks to the professionalism of all involved – the Russian space forces, Krunichev personnel including security specialists, technicians and translators as well as the Verhaert team. The Proba-2 spacecraft container and other equipment containers were all relocated as planned.

It has been a day of heavy lifting and scaling stairs. As their bus drives back to the hotel in nearby Mirny, some team members end up catching up on their sleep, in contrast to their morning excitement.

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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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Inspection of Proba-2 internal compartments
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Filling of the propulsion tank with xeon
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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
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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
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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
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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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