journal 18-July-2018 16:42:54

Launch Campaign Gets Underway

24 July 2003

European Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana

The Mission Flight Acceptance Review (MFAR) board meeting took place on July 8 and confirmed the readiness of SMART-1 to be shipped to Kourou. On July 14, SMART-1 was moved by road from the clean rooms at ESTEC to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, to be loaded onto an Antonov 124 cargo plane. The spacecraft, along with all the required ground support equipment, ESA and industry staff, departed on a midnight flight for the Cayenne airport in French Guiana. At 06:00 the following morning, July 15, the aircraft touched down to be greeted by various members of the team that had flown on ahead.

Antonov 124 and Personnel at Arrival in Kourou

SMART-1 Being Unloaded

From this point onwards the launch campaign has officially started and the first task for the team was to unload the spacecraft container from the plane.

Cayenne airport is around 50 km from the European Spaceport (Centre Spatial Guyanais) so the journey by truck took in typical equatorial flora.

Tropical Vegetation on the road to Kourou

In the S5 building of CSG, SMART-1 is now completing its final preparation. An initial inspection was carried out, including important checks to ensure the sensitive solar panels had not been damaged by humidity, and determined that the SMART-1 was in perfect condition.

Inspecting SMART-1

Checking the Interfaces

A fit check was conducted with the launcher adapter as a verification test for all interfaces.

The final electrical verification of all the functions has now started. Assuming all goes well the hydrazine loading will be performed on Monday 28 July. From then onwards the spacecraft will be considered to be in a hazardous condition and any further testing will be extremely limited.

Upcoming Milestones

28th July - Hydrazine Loading
29th July - Hand over to the Arianespace and CSG personnel.
31st July - Spacecraft Launch Readiness Review
14th August - Simulation of the 4th orbit (ESOC)


Launch delay - new schedule
17 September - SMART-1 and adapter mated on the launcher
22 September - Fairing integration with INSAT
23 September - Upper composite completed to launcher
24 September - Launch vehicle filling
24 September - Dress Rehearsal
25 September - Launch readiness review
26 September - Launcher moved to launch pad
27 September - at 23:04 GMT launch of V162 (A516)

Launch Campaign Team


Last Update: 18 February 2004

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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