Final inspection and fairing integration

22 July 2013

Last week the Ariane 5 fairing containing Alphasat was lowered on top of the launcher.

The satellite was encased within the fairing on 15 July, after being placed on the Sylda dual-launch pod. This followed the last and most critical inspection of all of its elements, in particular its thermal blanket and making sure all of the red tags and protective casings on the hosted payloads were removed.

The Sylda stack and fairing were lifted onto the rocket on 17 July from a height of 40 m, covering the Insat-3D second payload. They were then secured to the launcher. All of the electrical connections were made and the fairing was ventilated with clean, cooled air to keep the internal humidity at bay and both satellites at a controlled temperature.

Finally, Alphasat was switched on and its batteries charged.

In parallel, the team at the spaceport facilities are also preparing for the launch – setting up communications with the various control centres and readying the Jupiter room as the hub for all launch communications. 

Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.