Entry 17: GOCE revealed as container opened

GOCE out of storage

24 February 2009 – On Tuesday last week, the nominal activities began for the launch campaign that resumed in early February. The first task performed by the team, which is now almost complete, was to check the temperature and humidity levels recorded inside the container during storage. Both were found to be satisfactory.

The team then opened the container, revealing the spacecraft. An overall inspection that was performed on the spacecraft immediately after the container was opened showed no anomalies.

Following the inspection, the spacecraft was moved onto the multipurpose trolley for the next day’s activities. The transport container was also moved out of the cleanroom.

Solar cell inspection
Solar cell inspection

On Wednesday and Thursday, the solar cell inspection was performed by the Astrium Ottobrunn specialist. No differences were found relative to the last inspection made in August 2008. The battery was successfully charged and showed good performance characteristics.

On Friday, the spacecraft was turned on without any problem. On Saturday, the Gradiometer health check was performed, verifying the integrity of the six accelerometers. The Integrated System Check will take place in the next days.

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