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.
'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
16.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics
Fraunhofer HHI have developed a novel single-polarization Kramers-Kronig receiver scheme
16.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences