Envisat Launch status

Ariane 5 with Envisat ready for launch
Ariane 5 with Envisat ready for launch

1 March 2002

02:01 CET Start of automated launch sequence

02:01 CET Final confirmation that weather conditions are o.k. for launch

01:54 CET Envisat and launcher status confirmed as nominal.

01:45 CET Final minutes until launch, countdown is proceeding and everything is nominal

00:30 CET Less than an hour and a half to launch and the white Ariane 5 stands spotlit against the tropical darkness. Fuelling with liquid hydrogen and oxygen was completed by 7.30 pm (local time). The last weather forecast has confirmed satisfactory conditions, with one further weather forecast due at 9.43 pm. At 8 pm there was a status check of the ESA-coordinated tracking stations across the globe that will follow Envisat in space, from Kiruna in Sweden to Perth, Australia.

Roll-out of Envisat
Roll-out of Ariane 5 with Envisat

28 February 2002

23:05 CET Confirmation of satisfactory weather conditions.

21:30 CET Cryogenic tank fuelling is underway.

20:10 CET "The countdown is proceeding as expected", says Arianespace Flight 145 Mission Director Bernhard Puygrenier at the press conference in the Jupiter conference room.

19:15 CET Nitrogen purge of launch table

12:00 CET Ariane 5 and Envisat's roll-out seemed to go without a hitch but around 6pm local time an anomaly with the venting at the level of the Vehicle Equipment Bay was discovered.

Technicians worked overnight to check the problem and today's roll-out started at 8am local time, taking one hour. It takes another hour to finish connecting the launcher to the launch pad. This leaves the launch still on schedule, with final countdown set to begin around 11am local time for a 10.07pm launch.

15:00 CET: New Envisat launch preparation video available

Roll out of Ariane 5 with Envisat
Roll out of Ariane 5 with Envisat

27 February 2002
Roll out of the Ariane 5 launcher is now underway. Check the latest progress on the Spaceport web-cam

Everything is still nominal for the launch of Envisat with Ariane 5 on the night of 28 February at 02:07:59 hours CET.

26 February 2002
Last contact: All ‘red tag’ safe plugs replaced by ‘green tag’ pyrotechnic arming plugs, and the launcher fairing is sealed.

25 February 2002
Full launch rehearsal was a complete success, with all systems operating as expected.

ESA’s Envisat Forum is now on-line. Log in and ask a question to an ESA Expert.

22 February 2002
Intelsat was successfully launched by Ariane 4 during the night of 22 to 23 February, leaving the way clear for Envisat.

Last update: 16 September 2002

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