Chemical propellant awaits Alphasat in fuelling hall
Alphasat has been moved yet again to complete another step on its journey to orbit.
It was transferred from the S1 preparation area on 2 July in a container that maintained the satellite’s environmental conditions as it was slowly towed along the palm tree-lined road to the S5 fuelling hall, where three tonnes of propellants were waiting.
The go-ahead was given for the move after all of the main functional tests were passed with flying colours.
On arrival in S5, Alphasat was taken to the dedicated fuelling stand, and soon joined by the drums of bipropellants. Unlike the xenon propellant it received in late June for its ion thrusters, the chemical propellants are used mainly at the beginning of its mission, to raise Alphasat into geostationary orbit after separating from its Ariane 5 launcher.
Hoses were then connected between the fuelling equipment and satellite, ready for loading on 5 July.