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XMM Inside Fairing

XMM Inside Fairing

29 November 1999

After removal of practically all red-tagged items not required for flight (including thruster caps and solar array cover panels), and the installation of most green-tagged items required for flight, the XMM spacecraft received its protective fairing on 29 November. Certain items, such as arming plugs will never the less be accessible at three days before launch (D-3), through small trap doors in the fairing.

Fairing is hoisted to the summit of the Final Assembly Building

Fairing is being lowered over the XMM spacecraft

The two half shells of the fairing had been assembled at the ground level of the Final Assembly Building. The fairing mounting was managed by Gilles Triay, Arianespace.

Before being hoisted to the summit of the building, the fairing had also received the new XMM mission logo, a design using the winning entries of the XMM "Draw me a telescope" competition. However, pictures of the logo will only be revealed on launch day!

Fairing being placed in position

Fairing is being lowered over the XMM spacecraft

The first of 420 bolts used to fasten the fairing

As the fairing was gently lowered - technically called the closure - it was time for many of the XMM Project team, including Project manager Robert Lainé, to say "goodbye" to their baby. Placing and fastening the fairing took some three hours, finishing at 20:00 local time.

Watching the closure, Robert Lainé, Gerard Melchior (ESA HQ) and Gilles Triay (Arianespace)

Party Time

Earlier in the day, Arianespace had offered a drink to all those involved in the XMM campaign. The gathering took place at the Ariane 5 launch zone (ELA-3), at the extremity of one of the newly extended flame trenches which evacuate the exhausts of Ariane 5 at liftoff.

The extended flame trench, showing on left the water tower that releases millions of gallons of water on the launch table at liftoff to attenuate noise and shock waves. On the right is one of the lightening masts.

A 'Ti-Punch' and group photo - all wearing brown ESA cap - in the shade of the flame trench.


Last Update: 1 September 2019
19-May-2024 02:24 UT

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