Observation de la terre

Follow ESA's Earth observation missions as they are prepared for liftoff
  1. This is in some ways a sad entry as it marks the end of the Sentinel-5P launch campaign – but really it marks the end of an extraordinary launch campaign, launch, ‘launch and early orbit phase’ and start of commissioning. For the last few of the launch campaign team members, the Antonov flew the last five and a half hour leg from Ulyanovsk to Stanstead in the UK. Bill found a new office on the plane. Once back at Stanstead, the cargo will be transported by road back to Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage and the team can have a well-earned rest. For some of the team this is the end of 58 days away from home. For the operations team the science data has been downlinked and processed by the Payload Data Ground Segment stations. This again was a great success. This really has been an amazing week for all the team. From the ESA Sentinel-5P launch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about Sentinel-5P
  2. In Plesetsk we visited the launch tower to retrieve the ‘purge cart’ and continued packing so that we are ready to load the train for departure. At the European Spacecraft Operations Centre (ESOC) with the launch and early orbit phase over, the team move into the commissioning phase, which will last six months. This will culminate in the in orbit commissioning review, IOCR, after which the satellite will begin its life delivering information on air quality for Europe’s Copernicus programme. Yesterday though, the X-band link, which relays all the scientific data, was used for the first time and worked perfectly. Also  Sentinel-5p was added to the wall of fame by being added to the scoreboard. Other info: Sentinel-5p is the first ESOC launch on the 13th, moreover, Friday the 13th! This was the 13th commercial launch of Rocket. Must be our lucky number! From the ESA Sentinel-5P launch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about Sentinel-5P
  3. Following the excitement of launching Sentinel-5P on Friday 13 October, the weekend was much quieter here in Plesetsk. Time has been mainly spent retrieving equipment from the MIK cleanroom and from the ‘under table room’, packing up and preparing to go home. For the team at ESA’s European Spacecraft Operations Centre it has been a different story as they were busy with Sentinel-5P’s launch and early orbit phase, which they achieved in record time! So the satellite is now ready to begin the commissioning phase. The displays offer a snapshot of the temperatures of the Tropomi radiant cooler door inside and outside. The door will remain closed until 7 November. The warm values are temperatures inside the instrument (which need to stay at about 37°C until we open the door. The -61°C and -64°C indicate the temperatures outside the cooler door. Back here in Russia, as well as packing up we were also able to pass on the items we bought for the children’s home we visited the other week (see earlier blog post)  and from the generous donations we will be able to pay for some urgently needed roof repairs. From the ESA Sentinel-5P launch campaign team in Plesetsk Read more about Sentinel-5P
  4. The first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere, Sentinel‑5P, has been launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The 820 kg satellite was carried into orbit on a Rockot launcher at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) today. The first stage separated 2 min 16 sec after liftoff, followed by the fairing and second stage at 3 min 3 sec and 5 min 19 sec, respectively. The upper stage then fired twice, delivering Sentinel-5P to its final orbit 79 min after liftoff. After separating from the upper stage, Sentinel-5P deployed its three solar panels and began communications with Earth. The first signal was received 93 min after launch as the satellite passed over the Kiruna station in Sweden. Telemetry links, command and control were then established by controllers at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, allowing them to monitor the health of the satellite. The launch and the early orbit phase will last three days, during which controllers will check the satellite’s key systems and configure it for flight in space. Following this, a commissioning phase will check all elements of the satellite’s systems and the main instrument will be decontaminated. Once completed after a few weeks, the cooler door will be opened and the calibration and validation of Sentinel-5P’s main Tropomi instrument will be performed. The mission is expected to begin full operations six months from now.   Adapted from: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-5P/Air_quality-monitoring_satellite_in_orbit  
  5. The atmosphere-monitoring satellite for Europe’s Copernicus programme, Sentinel-5P, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) on 13 October 2017.