ISILAUNCH26 Campaign Update: we are back in Kourou!

> ISILAUNCH26 Campaign Update: we are back in Kourou!
> ISILAUNCH26 Campaign Update: we are back in Kourou!

ISILAUNCH26 Campaign Update: we are back in Kourou!

Kourou, French Guiana, May 14, 2020 – While the COVID-19 pandemic situation throughout Europe is far from over, though slowly getting better, all parties involved in the VEGA SSMS POC launch have been working towards resuming the launch campaign with guarantees for personal health and safety being of utmost importance. Following weeks of preparation and…

May 14, 2020 by Andreia

Kourou, French Guiana, May 14, 2020 – While the COVID-19 pandemic situation throughout Europe is far from over, though slowly getting better, all parties involved in the VEGA SSMS POC launch have been working towards resuming the launch campaign with guarantees for personal health and safety being of utmost importance.

Following weeks of preparation and getting all the relevant approvals, safety measures and travel options in place, an ISILAUNCH team travelled to Rome to get tested for COVID-19 and subsequently board a special charter flight towards the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) in French Guiana, arranged by AVIO and Arianespace to enable safe travel as a group. What we see along the way speaks for itself: deserted airports and empty planes.

Upon arrival, we were brought to a hotel booked for the group exclusively where we have to stay in quarantine for a period of two weeks, as per the local safety requirements, before activities at CSG can start again. We will then continue and finalize the flight preparation activities on satellite payloads and command sequencers that we had to pause about two months ago.

As part of those activities, we will – once more – perform the final checkout and integration of the DIDO-3 satellite, which accommodates a sensitive payload for microgravity research that needs to be kept at low temperatures to preserve the experiments for as long as possible before launch. Similar to how we brought the satellite ‘home’ when we had to pause the activities to keep it in the right environment, we have brought along DIDO-3 again, hand-carried, in its special cooling container on board the flights. It has joined us for the quarantine period, during which we will keep it cooled too.

We look forward to finish all the flight preparation activities for our launch customers, partners and colleagues to enable the launch of this crucial flight, while adhering to the measures set in place to ensure we all keep safe and can return home in good health. We would like to thank AVIO, Arianespace and ESA for the arrangements and support. Only together we can defeat this situation!

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