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Spacecraft Armed

Spacecraft Armed

8 December 1999

On Tuesday 7 December, the XMM team had a last peak at their baby, through a small opening in the Ariane-5 fairing. It was through this small hatch that the spacecraft was armed.

This operation involved removing the last red-tag items (six connectors not required for flight), the installation of arming plugs (green tag items), the verification of the electrical connections and the installation of the thermal protection (MLI blanket) on the plugs and connectors.

66 meters above ground level, the fairing seen from above. The blue tabs along the side are pyrotechnic protections, to be removed before flight.

For this difficult job technicians had to work in a horizontal position on a so-called diving board, in order to access the inside of the fairing through the small door. Four different people - with the essential requirement of very long arms - were involved, under supervision of Product Assurance staff.

The fairing door completely closed

The door was then closed once and for all and remaining sections of the Arianespace stickers were installed. Afterwards, the spacecraft was switched on to ensure that the arming sequence was performing correctly.

The purge of the satellite (nitrogen for the Optical Monitor and synthetic air for the telescope tube i.e. the inside of the Spacecraft) is continuing and is regularly checked. After the dress rehearsal exercise, the battery has been discharged and recharged in order to have it fully loaded on Day 0.

Launch Readiness Reviews

Another important milestone took place on 7 December with the Launch Readiness Review (LRR) of the satellite, at which ESA management gave its green light for the launch. It will be followed on 8 December by the RAL review (Revue d'Aptitude au Lancement) concerning the launcher itself.

Image at right - Last verification of the launch table's umbilical mast


The Ground Support team has a feminine side

Above - From left to right: Nicole Lamoureux (ESA); Isabelle Luthold (ESA) and Tanja Hatzekonstantinides (CSG)

Top right - Liz Haeberle (Dornier) and Christina Brazzelli (Laben)

Bottom right - Claudia Kejwal (Dornier)

Last Update: 1 September 2019
25-Apr-2024 12:03 UT

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