Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Planck Spacecraft Fine Balancing in LSS
by Staff Writers
Noordwijk, Netherlands (ESA) Apr 15, 2008

The Planck spacecraft is seen hoisted over the top entrance of the Large Space Simulator (LSS) at ESTEC. After the carefull lowering of the spacecraft into the LSS, it was setup for fine balancing, a test that involves the spacecraft being spun about its spin-axis at up to 30 rpm. After a dry run under ambient conditions the LSS was closed on 3 April and the fine balancing was performed in light-vacuum. Copyright: ESA

On Wednesday the 2nd of April the Planck flight model spacecraft was placed inside the Large Space Simulator (LSS) at the ESTEC test facilities for fine balancing. After the arrival on 28 March at ESTEC, unpacking, and several spacecraft preparations in the cleanroom, the Planck spacecraft was hoisted up from its ground support equipment (GSE) and transferred to the LSS by means of the overhead crane.

After its placement inside the LSS, removal of the telescope's protective cover and inspections of the spacecraft and setup, a dry run was performed on Thursday morning, 3 April. The dry run was performed in ambient conditions with the door of the LSS still open, to verify the stability of the configuration before the actual fine balancing activities.

Later that day the LSS was closed and the proper test runs started. Over the following days the Planck spacecraft was repeatedly spun inside the LSS in light-vacuum conditions (1 mbar) at 30 rpm. Four sets of ten test runs were performed between 3 and 9 April, using masses attached to the spacecraft's service module for fine balancing.

As Planck is a spin-stabilized spacecraft that will rotate in space at 1 rpm, the fine balancing of the spacecraft is required to ensure that the spacecraft spins around its nominal spin axis, with a minimal wobble that falls within specifications.

The first set of ten test runs (spinning both clockwise and counter clockwise to eliminate any systematic errors) was performed with no masses attached to obtain a reference in vacuum of the spacecraft wobble, which was compared with the values expected from a detailed model.

In the following sets of measurements 4.5 kg was attached to the service module and the spacecraft was spun again at 30 rpm, with different orientations between the spacecraft and the mounting to eliminate uncertainties in the contribution from the mounting.

On Wednesday, 9 April, the last spin test was completed and later that day the LSS was repressurized. With the successful completion of the fine balancing in light-vacuum conditions, the spacecraft is being hoisted out of the LSS today, Friday 11 April.

At the end of next week the Planck spacecraft will be prepared for transport from the ESTEC test facilities in Noordwijk to the Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL).


Related Links
Space Telescope News and Technology at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The Largest Synthesized Telescope In Europe Doubles Its Surface
Munstereifel-Effelsberg, Germany (SPX) Apr 14, 2008
The 100m Radio Telescope Effelsberg enters operations of the e-EVN network, enhancing its sensitivity to detect the radio sky providing the sharpest images in nearby real time. The European radio interferometric network e-EVN almost doubles its sensitivity with the addition of the largest radio telescope in Europe. With the "First Light" on April 1, 2008, Effelsberg has joined another six ... read more

Moondust In The Wind

NASA Sets Sights On Lunar Dust Exploration Mission

The 2008 Great Moonbuggy Race

UMaine Engineering Team To Test Inflatable Habitats For NASA Moon Mission

Opportunity Continues Reading The Story In The Rocks

NASA Spacecraft Fine Tunes Course For Mars Landing

NASA Spacecraft Images Mars Moon In Color And In 3D

Spirit Advances Toward Midwinter

Statue To Pioneering Russian Space Dog Unveiled In Moscow

Korean cosmonaut shares culture in space

Scrap unlucky 13th mission: Russian space chief

Space Research Can Improve Life On Earth

China Launches New Space Tracking Ship To Serve Shenzhou VII

Three Rocketeers For Shenzhou

China's space development can pose military threat: Japan

Brazil To Deepen Space Cooperation With China

Russia to call for extending ISS use

The ESA opens a new space laboratory

First Korean astronaut docks with space station

Astronauts Relish New Asian Space Food As Expedition 17 Docks

Lockheed Martin Set For Launch Of ICO G1 Spacecraft

Arianespace Lauds Japan Relationship As A Partnership Of Trust

Russia To Conduct 28 Space Launches From Baikonur In 2008

Vietnam delays launch of first satellite

New Rocky Planet Found In Constellation Leo

New Laser Technology Could Find First Earth-like Planets

Scientists Discover 10 New Planets Outside Solar System

Googling Alien Life

Ball Aerospace GFO Satellite Begins Eleventh Year On Orbit

Newly Discovered Superinsulators Promise To Transform Materials Research, Electronics Design

Chemists work on bamboo fabric development

TDRS-1 Satellite Reaches 25 Years Of Age

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement