Foton-M3 prepares for launch - story in pictures
Experiments for the Foton-M3 mission were prepared in the labs at ESA's research and technology centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. At the peak of activity over 100 scientists and engineers were gathered in Noordwijk preparing experiment payloads for flight.
Around 60 containers of equipment and ground support equipment, with a total weight of 450 kilograms, left ESTEC by truck early on the morning of 10 September 2007.
The containers were transported by road to Rotterdam Airport. From there a chartered airplane took the equipment and many of the scientists and engineers first to Samara, in Russia, and, after customs clearance, onto Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
Once in Baikonur, following an inspection of all hardware to make sure everything had arrived in working order, the experiments were integrated into the Foton-M3 capsule.