All Green for Roll-Out
9 December 1999After formally declaring the spacecraft ready for launch, the Readiness Review for the launcher took place on 8 December. A review held in the Arianespace Galilie building at the forward zone of the Spaceport.
The review board, including ESA and Arianespace management, authorised the transfer of Ariane 504 from the Final Assembly Building to the launch zone. This will take place on Thursday 9 December. It will be the first time the fully assembled launcher appears outdoors, with its fairing hiding the precious XMM payload.
Winners of the ESA "Draw me a telescope" competition, whose designs make up the new XMM logo will be able to see it for the first time on the launcher. The children will be taken to a vantage point to see the roll-out and slow progression of the table carrying the Ariane-5 along the double railtrack towards the launch zone. Some memorable pictures in view as the monster rocket passes between the palm trees!
Meanwhile the XMM spacecraft is still being monitored under the fairing, via umbilical lines, until the launch with the usual checks (battery charging and purge). In the mean time, the Electrical Ground Support equipment team is training once again to recover quickly from any problem that might occur during the countdown.
Other news: packing activities are continuing fast. The STM spacecraft will be transported to the museum tomorrow afternoon.