Aeolus teams ready for space
17 August 2018
The teams responsible for flying the Aeolus satellite completed a pre-launch ‘dress rehearsal' at ESA's ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt today, the last major step in getting ready for next Tuesday's liftoff.
Experts in mission operations, flight dynamics, ground stations and software systems worked together with counterparts in the Jupiter Control Room on the far side of the Atlantic at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to practise the pre-launch and liftoff sequence.
This full-scale dress rehearsal for launch came one day after the final simulation covering early operations in space — leaving ESA ready to fly Europe's wind satellite.
Aeolus is set to launch on a Vega rocket at 21:20 GMT (23:20 CEST) on Tuesday, 21 August 2018, carrying one of the most sensitive instruments ever put into orbit: a Doppler wind lidar known as Aladin.
Update 21/08/2018: the lift-off of Arianespace's Flight VV12 with Europe's Aeolus satellite had to be delayed by 24 hours (from Tuesday 21 August to Wednesday 22 August, same time) due to winds at altitude over the Spaceport in French Guiana.