MetOp's planned launch from Baikonur on a Soyuz/ST launcher, originally planned for 17 July, had to be called off after three consecutive attempts because of technical issues relating to the Soyuz's ground system. However, the problems have now been solved and a review of the overall ground system validation process is now underway. In addition, the Soyuz launcher has been completely refurbished and has been transported back to the launch site from the manufacturer's facilities in Samara, Russia.
This included monitoring the temperature and pressure within the Fregat propulsion system and keeping a check on the nitrogen gas flushing system that was needed by some of the instruments under storage conditions.
The launch campaign officially resumed on 29 August and the team are back in Baikonur to carry out the pre-launch procedures. This time there are even more safety constraints as the MetOp satellite remains fuelled from the previous launch attempts and checks for any leaks are continually being carried out.
So far, the main activities have been concerned the de-mating and removal of the Fregat upper stage, and then with the start of the satellite preparation with unlocking and re-locking the solar array drive mechanism, and replacing the solar array Kevlar cables – all of which have been successfully completed. Checks have been completed on the umbilical cable for the launch vehicle adapter and Fregat upper-stage. The HIRS (High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder), the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) and the GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2) instruments have all been cleaned and inspected.
The satellite is scheduled to be mated with the Fregat upper-stage on 22 September and encapsulated in the fairing on 28 September. The Upper Composite, which is the encapsulated satellite and Fregat upper-stage, will be integrated onto the Soyuz rocket on 30 September and rollout to the launch pad will take place on 4 October followed by launch on 7 October.
Simonetta Cheli | alfa
A Keen Sense for Molecules
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
Good vibrations feel the force
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Life Sciences
23.02.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2018 | Materials Sciences