Part 4: 6 - 12 November

MICE

Sunday 6 November
Sunday saw everybody enjoying a very nice 'Petanque' or tournament where the cup was won by Alcatel’s Mechanical Team against strong resistance from ESA’s Project Controller and Product Assurance, despite the latter not playing on the favourite grass ground!

Monday 7 November
In order to guarantee smooth operations later in the programme, a fit-check between the spacecraft and the launcher adaptor (ACU) has been done. This was successful, and the coordination between Arianespace (ACU responsibility) and MSG-Project (S/C responsibility) was very efficient. Increasing temperature of the batteries (stored at -15 degree Celsius) to bring them slowly up to ambient temperature has commenced.

Tuesday 8 November
The MICE (Mobile Indoor Cooling Equipment) was installed in the clean-room and validated by the CSG team. This equipment generates cooling air for the batteries during charge and discharge cycles.

The batteries' reconditioning began, involving three charges and two discharges. It will go on non-stop for about three days, causing shift work for part of the team. After the long storage period the spacecraft reference test has also started. It is a health check of the satellite in flight configuration, using mainly telemetry data.

Wednesday 9 November
The spacecraft reference test remains in progress, as well the reconditioning of the batteries.

Batteries reconditioning

Thursday 10 November
The health test was completed with excellent results, and the spacecraft has entered its final phase of preparation. The first important step was the engagement of the LLD (Launch Locking Device). This firmly holds the SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager) scan mechanism, so it can withstand the loads imposed by the launch. This was followed by removing the cabling no longer required for tests, and installing harness flight items.

Unfortunately the Ariane V-ECA launch planned for this evening, with Spaceway-2 and Telkom-2 as a dual payload, has been delayed to Saturday.

Friday 11 November
The batteries reconditioning is still ongoing. Validation of the elements affected by the finalisation of the harness has begun, mainly the AOCS (Attitude and Orbit Control Subsystem) and UPS (Unified Propulsion System).

In the evening, part of our Team joined the Indian team of our co-passenger satellite Insat 4-A at a dinner party.

Saturday 12 November
The batteries' reconditioning has been finished with perfect results. Also the AOCS validation has been completed, while UPS tests are still ongoing.

As everybody was preparing to leave to attend the V167 Launch, we heard that this was further delayed by a day to Sunday, 13 November 2005. This delay was a disappointment to all of us, especially since this delay may impact the MSG-2 launch date as well; but for the time being the nominal MSG-2 Launch date remains 20 December, 2005.

Last update: 23 November 2005

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