First steps - update on Alphasat in orbit
After a smooth and impressive launch, Alphasat is doing well and taking its first steps towards being fully operational.
Last night in orbit, the satellite’s chemical propulsion system was activated, meaning its fuel and oxidiser tanks were pressurised to prepare them for their task of lifting Alphasat to geostationary orbit.
The satellite then acquired the Sun and partially deployed its solar wings. All subsystems were checked and confirmed to be working perfectly.
Following that, Alphasat’s hosted Astro APS (advanced pixel sensor) startracker was switched on to assist with determining attitude.
The satellite is now in its planned transfer orbit, and has experienced its first eclipse in Earth’s shadow without any issues. The battery is healthy and Alphasat’s temperature is under control. The first liquid-propellant apogee engine burn is planned for this evening after the gyros have been calibrated.