After leaving the Space Test Centre in Germany on 29 August, CryoSat has safely arrived at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 800 km north of Moscow, Russia. CryoSat is scheduled for launch on 8 October 2005 at 15h02 UTC.
The convoy was initially transported by truck from IABG (Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH) in Ottobrunn to Munich airport, where it was stored in a hangar over night before being loaded onto an Antonov-124 cargo aircraft for the three and a half hour flight to Talagi Airport, Archangel in Russia.
The spacecraft, however, did not travel alone – it was accompanied by a whole host of vital support equipment resulting in the shipment weighing in at around 60 tonnes and valuing some 80 million euros. The CryoSat satellite was packed in its own nitrogen-pressurized container, while nine other containers housed items such as racks of electrical equipment to operate and test the spacecraft, and heavy mechanical equipment to lift and turn the satellite allowing engineers to gain overall access to the structure in the Integration Facility at the launch site.
Guy Ratier | alfa
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
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