Cleaning the GOME-2 instrument
Applications

MetOp launch campaign resumed

19/09/2006 305 views 0 likes
ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth

With the launch of MetOp now set for 7 October at 18:28 CEST, the MetOp satellite is out of storage and preparations for launch are well underway at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

MetOp's planned launch from Baikonur on a Soyuz/ST launcher, originally planned for 17 July, had to be called off after three consecutive attempts because of technical issues relating to the Soyuz's ground system. However, the problems have now been solved and a review of the overall ground system validation process is now underway. In addition, the Soyuz launcher has been completely refurbished and has been transported back to the launch site from the manufacturer's facilities in Samara, Russia.

Solar array preparation finished
Solar array preparation finished

After the aborted launch attempts, the MetOp satellite had to be prepared to go into storage until the new launch date was set. Among other things, this meant that the solar array Kevlar deployment cables, which have to be tensioned before launch, had to be released. During the storage period the satellite and the Fregat had daily check-ups to ensure that they were maintained in a safe state.

This included monitoring the temperature and pressure within the Fregat propulsion system and keeping a check on the nitrogen gas flushing system that was needed by some of the instruments under storage conditions.

The launch campaign officially resumed on 29 August and the team are back in Baikonur to carry out the pre-launch procedures. This time there are even more safety constraints as the MetOp satellite remains fuelled from the previous launch attempts and checks for any leaks are continually being carried out.

Solar array deployment
Solar array deployment

So far, the main activities have been concerned the de-mating and removal of the Fregat upper stage, and then with the start of the satellite preparation with unlocking and re-locking the solar array drive mechanism, and replacing the solar array Kevlar cables – all of which have been successfully completed. Checks have been completed on the umbilical cable for the launch vehicle adapter and Fregat upper-stage. The HIRS (High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder), the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) and the GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2) instruments have all been cleaned and inspected.

The satellite is scheduled to be mated with the Fregat upper-stage on 22 September and encapsulated in the fairing on 28 September. The Upper Composite, which is the encapsulated satellite and Fregat upper-stage, will be integrated onto the Soyuz rocket on 30 September and rollout to the launch pad will take place on 4 October followed by launch on 7 October.

Related Links

Applications

MetOp launch status

461 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in vertical position
Applications

Europe's first polar-orbiting weather satellite ready for l…

16/10/2006 331 views 0 likes
Open item
Upper-composite and third-stage being coupled
Applications

Integration of MetOp upper-composite and third-stage comple…

13/10/2006 294 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp upper-composite being lifted onto the train
Applications

Safe arrival at the launch facility for MetOp

11/10/2006 288 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp encapsulation
Applications

MetOp encapsulated in fairing

10/10/2006 377 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp joins the Fregat upper-stage
Applications

MetOp integrated with Fregat upper-stage

26/09/2006 473 views 0 likes
Open item
Cleaning the GOME-2 instrument
Applications

MetOp launch campaign resumed

19/09/2006 305 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in orbit
Agency

MetOp to be launched in October

07/08/2006 418 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp on the launch pad
Agency

Launch of MetOp-A postponed

20/07/2006 478 views 0 likes
Open item
Roll-out to the launch pad
Applications

MetOp ready for launch

17/07/2006 398 views 0 likes
Open item
Upper-composite moved out of UCIF
Applications

Upper-composite transferred to launcher integration facility

14/07/2006 385 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp ready for encapsulation
Applications

Last-ever look at MetOp

11/07/2006 406 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp being lifted by crane
Applications

MetOp joins Fregat upper-stage

07/07/2006 328 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp leaving the HPF
Agency

MetOp fuelled and pressurised

04/07/2006 460 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in UCIF
Applications

MetOp-A gets green light for 17 July launch date

27/06/2006 499 views 0 likes
Open item
AMSU-A1 installation
Applications

MetOp – last phase of testing before launch

22/06/2006 346 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp's arrival at Baikonur
Agency

MetOp satellite shipped to Baikonur on 18 April

19/04/2006 700 views 0 likes
Open item
Soyuz launch
Agency

Soyuz launch vehicle

0 views 0 likes
Open item