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19 October 2006

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Meteorological missions / MetOp

20:22 CEST - Solar array deployment completed

19:35 CEST - Separation detection - Acquisition of signal from Malindi - Solar array deployment started.

18:37 CEST - Fregat engine ignition confirmed

18:28 CEST - MetOp launched

2h to launch, and the status of the spacecraft is 'Green'. ESOC is 'Green', with the A-team taking station. Weather is 'Green'. Launcher fuelling is underway.

4h to launch, and the ESOC network countdown has begun. The dataflow tests for chain B of the network have been successfully completed. The weather is sunny and the results from the second weather probe are within limits. The Russian State Commission has authorised the launch vehicle fuelling. MetOp is 'Green' for launch at 18:28 CEST.

6h to launch, and the satellite flight software has been successfully loaded. The ESOC team has taken its position in the mission control room and the network countdown will begin shortly. The weather is sunny and the results from the first weather probe are within limits. The status of MetOp is ‘Green.’

9h 30m to launch, and the satellite has been switched up and is 'Green' for launch. The weather is sunny and the forecast is more promising than yesterday. A weather probe will be launched at 11:00 CEST.

18 October 2006

2h 35m in the countdown, and the MetOp launch has been postponed due to strong winds at high altitude, as confirmed by the weather probe launched around 15:00 CEST. The new launch attempt is scheduled for tomorrow Thursday 19 October at 18:28 CEST.

4h to launch, and final launch configuration telecommands have been loaded into the spacecraft. The ESOC network countdown continues. MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch. Forecast is still uncertain for launch, as the weather is overcast with a foreseen front crossing the cosmodrome at the scheduled time of launch. As a result, the Russian authorities are delaying the start of fuelling. The decision to proceed with the launch will be taken based on results provided by a weather probe launching shortly.

5h to launch, and final launch configuration telecommands are being loaded into the spacecraft. The ESOC network countdown has begun, and the dataflow tests for chain B of the network have been completed successfully. While MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch, the weather is overcast with a foreseen front crossing the cosmodrome at the time of the launch, so forecast is now uncertain for launch. Definite status to be provided soon.

7h to launch, and the satellite flight software has been successfully loaded. The ESOC team has taken its position in the mission control room. Weather conditions are good and spacecraft, launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

The countdown of the MetOp launch stopped 1m 10s before lift-off yesterday due to an anomaly related to the ground control system. The cause has been identified and corrected following overnight verifications. The new launch attempt will take place today Wednesday 18 October at 18:28 CEST (16:28 UTC; 22:28 Baikonur time).

17 October 2006

The launch of MetOp is postponed due to an anomaly which happened in the last 2 seconds before launch. More information will follow tomorrow. François Maroquene, Starsem, said "We had to stop the final countdown a few seconds before launch. It is impossible to launch today as we only have one launch opportunity per day. A team will analyse the situation and we will know in two or three hours if it is feasible to launch tomorrow."

1h to launch, and the launch vehicle fuelling has been completed. The gantry is being prepared for removal. The spacecraft is in waiting mode. Weather is 'Green'. MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

3h 30m to launch, and the Russian State Commission has approved the readiness for launch and authorised the launch vehicle fuelling. The dataflow tests for chain A of the ESOC network have been completed successfully, so all the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP) stations are ‘Green.’ The weather is overcast with no rain, and the forecast for launch is ‘Green.’ MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

4h 30m to launch, and final launch configuration telecommands have been loaded into the spacecraft. The Russian State Commission, which approves the readiness for launch and authorizes the launch vehicle fuelling, will convene shortly. The ESOC network countdown has begun, and the dataflow tests for chain B of the network have been successfully completed. The weather is overcast with light rain, and the forecast remains ‘Green’ for launch. The status of MetOp is ‘Green.’

5h 30m to launch, and the first set of checks between ESOC and the satellite has been successfully completed. The launcher team is now in place and the final launcher preparations have started with the installation of the flight hatches in the fairing. The weather is overcast with light rain, and the forecast for launch is ‘Green.’ MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

7h 10m to launch, and the satellite flight software has been successfully loaded on MetOp. The ESOC team has taken its position in the mission control room. The weather is overcast with light rain, and the forecast for launch is ‘Green.’ MetOp, the launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

19 July 2006

1h to launch, and launcher fuelling has been completed. The satellite preparation is complete and telemetry check is fine. Weather conditions are good and spacecraft, launcher and ESOC are 'Green' for launch.

3h 30m to launch, and the State Commission has approved readiness for launch and authorized the start of launcher fuelling. The satellite preparation is complete. Weather conditions remain green for launch. Status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

6h to launch, and the dry run on the launcher has been completed. The satellite preparation continues without problems. The weather is good for launch. Status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

Status at 7h 30m before launch. The satellite preparation has started and the flight software loading has been completed. Spacecraft, launcher and ESOC are 'green' for launch and weather conditions remain good.

Status at 10h before launch. New launch attempt scheduled for tonight at 18:28 CEST (16:28 UT, 22:28 Baikonur local time). The satellite preparation has started, satellite is switched on and in standby. Flight software loading to commence shortly. The weather is good. Status of MetOp-A, launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

Yesterday's launch attempt was aborted shortly after the "go" agreement had been reached at the State Commission, at 3h 30m to launch. The abort was caused by out of limits results in the automated check-out procedure of the launcher. After investigation, this was found to be caused by the partially fuelled status of the launch vehicle, as the test parameters were set to either the empty or the fully fuelled configuration.

Accordingly, the launcher was fully defuelled last night and will go through its nominal launch preparation sequence from the standard starting configuration today. In addition, a dry run will be performed up to the early afternoon to confirm the good status of the vehicle, with a subsequent decision point at 12:00 CEST (16:00 local time).

18 July 2006

The launch of the MetOp-A satellite has been postponed due to an anomaly on one piece of equipment of the Soyuz launch vehicle, Mr F. Maroquene, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Starsem, has announced. Investigations are still ongoing. A new launch date will be announced by Starsem in the next few hours.

4h to launch, and after some retests of the launcher, the Russian State Commission has confirmed the launch of MetOp at 18:28 CEST tonight. Spacecraft, launcher and ESOC are 'green' for launch and weather conditions remain good.

Status at 10 h before launch. Launch countdown has restarted for a launch at 18:28 CEST (16:28 UT, 22:28 Baikonur local time). The launch abort on 17 July has been diagnosed as due to an incorrect parameter in a ground test procedure to provide final calibration verification of the inertial platform. The error has been corrected and verified on a reference platform, then tested OK on MetOp launcher vehicle. A full dry run retest of launcher with simulated launch time of 14:30 local is in progress. Confirmation will be provided at 11:00 CEST (15:00 local time) after which the launcher countdown will then enter normal sequence. Meanwhile the satellite preparation has started and weather conditions are good.

17 July 2006

During final preparations for the launch of MetOp by a Soyuz-Fregat launcher, a problem was discovered, triggering a countdown halt. A team of European and Russian technicians is presently investigating the issue. The Soyuz launcher is being defuelled and more information from Starsem, the launch authority, is expected to become available on Tuesday morning. The next launch opportunities are Tuesday, 18 July, and Wednesday, 19 July.

2h30min to launch, and the launch vehicle fuelling is underway. The MetOp satellite is in waiting mode. Weather remains green for launch. Status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

3h30m to launch, and the Russian State Commission has approved the readiness for launch and authorized the launch vehicle fuelling. The weather remains good and the status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

4h30m to launch, and the Russian State Commission, which approves the readiness for launch and authorizes the launch vehicle fuelling, will convene shortly. Status of Metop-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green' and the weather is good.

5h30m to launch, and configuration telecommands have been loaded into spacecraft. A series of checks between ESOC operations and the satellite have been successfully completed and the ESOC network countdown has started. Weather conditions remain good for launch. Status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

7h30m to launch, and the project team reports from Baikonur this morning that the satellite flight software has been successfully loaded, the weather is sunny, and the status of MetOp-A, Launcher and ESOC is 'Green'.

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