Sharp at 6:30 local time, the Proton launcher was rolled out of the 92-1 building. It is a tradition to roll out the launcher at this time. All parties attended the event in the dark early morning. Eros Poli of Alenia and Barrie Henson of ESA boarded the train to monitor the spacecraft loads during transportation.
By 8:30, the train was in front of the pad, ready for erection of the launcher into the vertical position. The operation was performed very smoothly and by 11:00, the launcher was clamped into the pad, ready for the service tower to be rolled back inside.
The remaining activities on the launch pad for the Integral team were all performed as planned:
- the air conditioning reconnection and all operations dealing with air cleanliness inside the fairing were witnessed during the day
- a sniff check for any potential hydrazine leakage from the Integral satellite was done via a trap in the upper stage, just below the fairing
- the tension of the clampband fixing the satellite to the upper stage was checked and found within specifications
All this work was carried out on the launch tower, some 50 m above ground, with high winds blowing. The team members were visibly impressed with their day’s activities.
Meanwhile, the satellite was also switched on remotely from the 92A-50 building and all stations were manned in preparation for the launch rehearsal on the 14th. Later in the day, the electrical team finished recharging the batteries.
So far, all systems are on track for the launch on 17 October.