. 24/7 Space News .
ESA teams ready for space
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Apr 25, 2018

illustration only

Tomorrow's launch of Sentinel-3B will complete the Sentinel-3 constellation and represents the culmination of months of training to fly Europe's latest Copernicus satellite.

The Sentinel-3B satellite has been at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia since mid-March, being readied for its ride into space on 25 April at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST).

It will join its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit to systematically monitor Earth's oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. The pairing of the two satellites optimises coverage and data delivery for Copernicus.

While ESA and European industry have been busy in Russia getting the satellite fit and ready for liftoff, tomorrow also marks the end of months of intense preparation for the mission control team at the agency's ESOC control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Training to go to space
The team have conducted numerous simulation training sessions to prepare for the approximately three-day launch and early orbit phase and for the start of the commissioning phase, some of the most critical hours and weeks in orbit.

Training involved multiple teams of engineers and scientists at ESOC, including spacecraft engineers, specialists working on tracking stations and the sophisticated 'ground segment' - the hardware and software used to control the satellite and distribute its data - as well as experts working in flight dynamics, software and networks and simulation and training teams.

The simulation training campaign followed several months of intense preparation that began immediately after Sentinel-3B's twin Sentinel-3A began its routine mission in 2016. Engineers were able to integrate lessons learnt from the first Sentinel-3 mission into their procedures and the ground systems.

The mission control teams are supported by experts from ESA's Sentinels project and by expertise provided by European industry.

Watching for separation
Following liftoff, the rocket will fly an approximately 80-minute mission marked by the separation of the first two stages and a boost phase conducted by the upper stage, leading to the separation of Sentinel-3B onto its free flight orbit at around 19:17 GMT (21:17 CEST).

"Following separation from the upper stage, we have to wait about 13 minutes until we receive the first signals from Sentinel-3B via our Kiruna ground station in Sweden, while the satellite uses its sensors and actuators to stabilise itself toward a Sun-pointing attitude," says Flight Director Pier-Paolo Emanuelli.

"Meanwhile, solar array deployment will be automatically triggered for completion within the first ground station contact periods, assuming all goes as planned."

"Once we have established a full data link, we will work for the next three days around the clock, verifying its health and status and beginning the complex process of bringing it into a stable mode ready for inflight commissioning."

Dressed up with somewhere to go
Teams in Darmstadt completed a full 'dress rehearsal' yesterday, repeating one final time the count-down and lift-off portion of the mission to ensure that everyone is confident in their abilities and knows what to do if any unexpected situation occurs.

"The satellite will be flown by ESA in a 'tandem configuration' together with its twin Sentinel-3A for about seven months, in order to cross-calibrate the instruments and the data processing between each," explains ESA's Jose Morales, Head of Copernicus Flight Operations.

Once the instruments and the calibration have been verified, the Sentinel-3B satellite will be placed in its final operational orbit and handed over to Eumetsat for operation together with 3A.

"Tomorrow, once we 'catch' the first signals from space, our teams will go to work. That's when experience, expertise and extensive training will come to the forefront, combining to ensure the success of this crucial mission," says Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations at ESA.

Related Links
Space Operations at ESA
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Storm hunter launched to International Space Station
Paris (ESA) Apr 03, 2018
ESA's observatory to monitor electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere is on its way to the International Space Station. The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor is riding in the Dragon cargo vehicle that lifted off at 20:30 GMT (16:40 local time) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. A suite of instruments will search for high-altitude electrical discharges associated with stormy weather conditions. It is the first time that such a set of sensitive cameras, light sensors and X- and gamm ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NASA Takes First 3-D Microscopic Image on the Space Station

China strengthens international space cooperation

Students help NASA researchers decide what plants to grow in space

US Senate narrowly confirms Trump's new NASA chief

SpaceX blasts off NASA's new planet-hunter, TESS

Vostochny Cosmodrome preps for first tourist visit

US Air Force awards nearly $1 bn for hypersonic missile

New DARPA Challenge Seeks Flexible and Responsive Launch Solutions

Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars

SwRI's Martian moons model indicates formation following large impact

US, Russia likely to go to Mars Together, former NASA astronaut says

NASA scientist to discuss 'Swimming in Martian Lakes: Curiosity at Gale Crater'

First China Aerospace Conference to be held on April 24

The Long Game: China Seeks to Transfer Its Silk Industry to Far Side of the Moon

China to launch Long March-5 Y3 rocket in late 2018

Flowers on the Moon? China's Chang'e-4 to launch lunar spring

Airbus has shipped SES-12 highly innovative satellite to launch base

Storm hunter launched to International Space Station

SpaceX says Iridium satellite payload deployed

Spacecom selects SSL to build AMOS-8 comsat with advanced capabilities

Aerospace offers new solutions for Space Traffic Management

Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

NanoRacks space station airlock "Bishop" completes CDR, moves to fab stage

Angola loses first satellite, plans successor

Giant group of octopus moms discovered in the deep sea

Are we alone? NASA's new planet hunter aims to find out

We think we're the first advanced earthlings - but how do we really know?

Newly discovered salty subglacial lakes could help search for life in solar system

What do Uranus's cloud tops have in common with rotten eggs?

Pluto's Largest Moon, Charon, Gets Its First Official Feature Names

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, gets its first official feature names

Juno Provides Infrared Tour of Jupiter's North Pole

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.