Launch Campaign Gets Underway
24 July 2003 19:00European 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.
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.
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.
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.
28th July - Hydrazine Loading
Launch Campaign Team