Removing the ground clamp-band
The ground clamp-band, between the LISA Pathfinder science (above, gold-coloured) and propulsion (below, silver-coloured) modules, is opened prior to removal and replacement by the flight clamp-band.
The clamp-band is a belt that is tightened around two metal rings: one on the propulsion module and one on the science module. During launch, the belt holds both modules together, and once the spacecraft has reached its operational orbit around L1 – about fifty days after launch – the belt is released letting the modules fly free.
These activities are taking place in the high bay of the EPCU (Ensemble de Préparation de la Charge Utile) S5C building at the Centre Spatial Guyanais, in Kourou.