The Aeolus upper composite in the launch tower at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Here it is joined to the rest of the Vega rocket. ESA's Aeolus satellite has been at the launch site since early July where it has been tested and prepared for launch. It will be taken into orbit on a Vega rocket.
Aeolus carries one of the most sophisticated instruments ever to be put into orbit. The first of its kind, the Aladin instrument includes revolutionary laser technology to generate pulses of ultraviolet light that are beamed down into the atmosphere to profile the world’s winds – a completely new approach to measuring the wind from space.