Back to Plesetsk – A warm welcome at freezing weather conditions
The holiday break for the Sentinel-3A launch campaign is over.
On January 11th, a charter flight from Moscow returned 22 campaign members to Plesetsk. The European team had a very warm welcome by their Russian colleagues upon arrival at the Cosmodrome’s airfield. Plesetsk area presented itself as a cold beauty with snow-covered forests and temperature as low as -22°C (subtract a few degrees for the wind chill).
Starting today, activities at the integration facility have been resumed. In preparation for the removal of the Sentinel-3A spacecraft from its protective container (where it hibernated during the storage period), clean room conditions need to be reinstated and checked. The following two days will be spent to reinstall the satellite on its integration platform in order to proceed with the spacecraft stand-alone activities. The next major spacecraft activity will be fueling of the satellite.
A focus of the second part of the campaign is going be the joint operations between the launch service provider and satellite teams. In about two weeks’ time, the mating of Sentinel-3A onto the Breeze-KM upper stage will commence which requires close coordination of activities.
A happy and successful new year to the Sentinel-3A teams!