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Observation de la terre

Follow ESA's Earth observation missions as they are prepared for liftoff
  1. With the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite safely in orbit and with the good news that the launch and early orbit phase was finished in record time – and following a launch campaign that lasted 49 days, it’s time for the Plesetsk team to return home to their families. So at the end of last week and the over the weekend there was the last packing to do, the last cake to eat and all the administration to close, and it was time say a final good-bye to the Russians in ‘rocket city’ Mirny. Meanwhile preparations in the city for the May celebrations were in full swing. People are busy with brooms, shovels and rubbish bags. After six months of winter weather, there is a lot of rubbish emerging from the melting snow – but they are working hard to get everything ready for a parade. On Sunday 29 April, the train convoy with all containers left the MIK and the launch base for the station in Plesetsk. Around 22:00, the train convoy then left for Arkhangelsk. On Monday everything will be transferred to the airport, where Antonov is waiting. So, for us, it’s a big good-bye to Plesetsk as we all look forward to getting home. From the ESA Sentinel-3B launch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about the Sentinel-3 mission  
  2. The Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite spent six weeks at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia being carefully prepared for liftoff. After being shipped from France to the launch site, the satellite was tested, joined to the rocket launch adapter, sealed from view in the fairing and taken by train to the launch pad. Sentinel-3B lifted off on 25 April 2018 at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST).
  3. The second Sentinel-3 satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-3B, was launched today, joining its identical twin Sentinel-3A in orbit. This pairing of satellites increases coverage and data delivery for the European Union’s Copernicus environment programme. The 1150 kg Sentinel-3B satellite was carried into orbit on a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk, Russia, at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST; 21:57 local time) on 25 April. Rockot’s upper stage delivered Sentinel-3B into its planned orbit. Just 92 minutes after liftoff, Sentinel-3B sent its first signals to the Kiruna station in Sweden. Data links were quickly established by teams at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, allowing them to assume control of the satellite. During the three-day launch and the early orbit phase, controllers will check that all the satellite’s systems are working and begin calibrating the instruments to commission the satellite. The mission is expected to begin routine operations after five months. “This is the seventh launch of a Sentinel satellite in the last four years. It is a clear demonstration of what European cooperation can achieve and it is another piece to operating the largest Earth observation programme in the world, together with our partners from the European Commission and Eumetsat,” said ESA Director General Jan Wörner. With this launch, the first set of Sentinel missions for the European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network are in orbit, carrying a range of technologies to monitor Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere. ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “With Sentinel-3B, Europe has put the first constellation of Sentinel missions into orbit – this is no small job and has required strong support by all involved. It allows us to get a very detailed picture of our planet on a daily basis and provides crucial information for policy makers. “It also offers lots of opportunities for commercial […]
  4. With Sentinel-3B sitting and waiting patiently for liftoff and the launch dress rehearsal done, most of us had a day off yesterday – and now we are all rested and ready for tonight’s launch! Monday’s dress rehearsal involved teams here in Plesetsk, the satellite operations team at ESA’s European Operations Centre in Germany, and the ground station network. We practiced the countdown and simulated liftoff, checking all the procedures, network and voice links between us. We also rehearsed contingency procedures, which included switching off the satellite safely in the unlikely event of the launch being aborted. The day resulted in everything being GREEN for launch. So with everything in place for liftoff on 25 April at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST), we had some free time on Tuesday – which was a beautiful sunny day. Some of use went to the Cosmodrome Museum. We took a couple of gifts: a model of Sentinel-3 and a framed photo of the launch campaign team in front of the rocket upper composite in the MIK. The gifts were appreciated and found their place in the display. We are officially part of the cosmodrome history! Some of us also went to visit the Plesetsk orphanage and took gifts, thanks those who donated – thanks! The children put on a little singing and dancing routine, which was followed by play and games with their new toys. It was very emotional. This short break did us all good and certainly helped to recharge our batteries. Back at the cosmodrome, the Rockot launcher was being fuelled … all done by 19:00 local time. SO the satellite and launcher are ready, and we are rested and all ready for the big day … READY!!! The weather in Plesetsk is partly cloudy, 7 /+4 degrees From the ESA Sentinel-3B launch […]
  5. With the satellite being rolled out to the launch pad and positioned in the launch tower, it’s been a very exciting weekend. Last Friday, with the Rockot upper composite all finished, it was moved from the 101B cleanroom to the General Hall ready for rollout on Saturday. The Khrunichev teams continued their preparation activities such as electrical checks. Just before we left the site that evening we saw that the upper composite had been covered to keep it warm for its journey to the launch pad and that it was ready to be loaded on the train. Some of our team members went out to the launch pad to make sure everything is okay in the ‘under-table room’.  Cameras were also installed so that we can keep a check on the room remotely. And, since some of the cleanroom equipment is now no longer needed, we’ve started packing up a bit. We were also kept busy preparing for the launch countdown procedure which involves ESA, Thales Alenia Space, KSRC, the military and Eurockot. We all now know what everyone’s role is on the big day. The full countdown dress rehearsal takes place on Monday. On Saturday we arrived at the MIK at 05:30 in time to see the Sentinel-3B upper composite roll out. Following a briefing by the military, the train left at 06:00 sharp. It started by reversing out of the MIK very slowly and then manoeuvred to the right track, and continued at the same slow pace towards the pad, with armed soldiers onboard, watching. The rail convoy arrived at the pad in front of the launch tower a bit before 09:00. We could see the upper composite being lifted up to level 7 of the tower where it was prepared to be mated with the lower stage […]