Entry 12: Ready for launch!

SMOS and Proba-2 get go-ahead to launch

30 October 2009 – The Russian State Commission has given the go-ahead to fuel the Rockot launcher that will take SMOS and Proba-2 into orbit. This formal authorisation confirms that launch can take place, as planned, on 2 November at 02:50 CET (01:50 UT).

A formal review with the Russian State Commission was held today, where representatives of the various organisations involved were asked to report on the status of their activities.

In his statement to the State Commission, ESA’s Project Manager for SMOS, Achim Hahne said, "I herewith can report that the SMOS and Proba-2 spacecrafts are fully tested, fuelled, and prepared for launch. I therefore ask the honourable gentlemen of the State Commission to authorise the fuelling of the launcher and conduct the final launch preparations. I would like to express my gratitude for the professional support we have experienced from all involved entities: the Russian Space Forces, Krunichev, and Eurockot."

Upper composite in launch tower
Upper composite in launch tower

The State Commission’s confirmation of readiness to fuel marks one of the last important milestones on the road to launch SMOS and Proba-2. Both satellites have been several years in the making and, with launch now confirmed, their missions to advance science and technology will soon begin.

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