ESA and industrial team members during GOCE countdown rehearsal, Plesetsk, 13 March 2009

Entry 22: Launch rehearsed

13 March 2009 – Today, the launch countdown rehearsal took place. This involves rehearsing everything for day of launch, right from the all-important operation and communication procedures down to bus transport and the team members rehearsing their positions.

The operational team
The operational team

The GOCE spacecraft has had the necessary subsystems activated, been switched to internal power, given a health check and consequently in 'ready for launch' status. In parallel, communication lines were checked between the Russian Mission Control Centre and ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

Everything went well, so we can say that GOCE has been virtually launched!

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