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.
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University
Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences