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EarthCARE satellite set for launch
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EarthCARE satellite set for launch
by Erica Marchand
Paris, France (SPX) May 06, 2024

Recently, ESA's EarthCARE satellite was removed from its transport container at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, beginning an intensive period of preparation for its upcoming launch. The team conducted detailed inspections and testing to ensure the satellite was in optimal condition for its mission.

Ensuring the cleanliness of EarthCARE was a critical step in optimizing the performance of its four main instruments. These instruments are designed to advance our understanding of the interactions between clouds, aerosols, solar energy, and outgoing radiation, which are crucial for regulating the Earth's climate.

The meticulous cleaning process included using UV light in a darkened cleanroom to confirm the absence of dust on the satellite. This level of cleanliness is vital for the accuracy of the satellite's data collection.

One of the earlier steps in the satellite's preparation was the deployment of its cloud profiling radar antenna, a joint effort with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This 2.5-meter-wide antenna is designed to provide detailed data on cloud structures and their properties.

In addition to the technical preparations, a team from the UK was tasked with the dangerous job of fueling the satellite, which is one of the final steps before it is sealed within the rocket fairing for launch.

EarthCARE launch campaign blog here

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