Entry 5: SMOS fuelled
8 October 2009 - The hazardous task of fuelling the SMOS satellite with 28 kg of hydrazine propellant has been completed. The team from Thales Alenia Space carried out this important part of the launch campaign yesterday. They wore special protective clothing called a Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE).
Always a hazardous operation, the spacecraft was pressurised to the final value of 19 bars. Then the fuelling equipment had to be completely decontaminated and removed from the cleanroom.
Since it is such a dangerous operation, only selected team members were allowed to remain in the facility so the rest of the team stayed back at the hotel. However, today the cleanroom is back to normal and activities focus on preparations to install SMOS on the launch adapter prior to encapsulation.
In the meantime, the electrical tests on the launch vehicle were completed at the launch pad.