Preparations for the transport of the spacecraft began on 23 July when it was packed in its own nitrogen-pressurised container inside the GOCE clean room at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
The container was transported on Tuesday 29 July by truck to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where it was loaded into the Antonov aircraft.
The spacecraft is not travelling alone – 11 other containers carrying a host of vital support gear, including electrical and mechanical ground support equipment, are accompanying it.
Four ESA and five Thales Alenia Space (Italy) GOCE Launch Campaign team members are on the plane to monitor the spacecraft and perform all the operations needed until it reaches its final destination.
The flight is scheduled to land in Arkhangelsk on Tuesday at 20:00 local time and undergo custom clearance overnight. Once cleared, the Spacecraft Transport Container and the other containers will be transported by trucks to the local train station where they will be loaded onto goods wagons.
From here, the containers will travel by a special train with escort personnel for the remainder of their 200-km journey southward to Plesetsk Cosmodrome, where they are due to arrive on 31 July. Upon arrival, expected at about 16:00 local time, the spacecraft and other containers will be unloaded into the launch base.
After the satellite is unpacked, a final check will be carried out before being mounted onto its Rockot launch vehicle 13 days prior to launch.
Due to the large number of supplies travelling with GOCE, the cargo was split in two parts to reduce transportation costs. One part, containing ground support equipment, was packed in advance in order to be transported by sea rather than by plane.
On 17 July, nine containers with non-critical material were taken to Antwerp, Belgium, to prepare for travel by boat. The ship departed on 24 July and is scheduled to arrive at Archangel between 31 July and 1 August.
Once in the port of Arkhangelsk and after custom clearance, the cargo will be transferred with a special train to Plesetsk on 4 August, arriving the following day.
GOCE, designed to provide information for understanding critical Earth System variables by mapping our planet’s gravity field in unprecedented detail, is scheduled for launch on 10 September 2008.
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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