Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to fully implement the measures decided by the French government, all launch campaigns underway at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), in French Guiana, have been suspended.
After two weeks of hard and dedicated work of our experienced integration team on ISILAUNCH26, the activities related to final flight preparation of payloads and command sequencers were close to being finalized. Yet, then we were informed by our launch partner and supplier Arianespace that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to fully implement the measures decided by the French government, all launch campaigns underway at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), in French Guiana, have been suspended. All teams were asked to immediately prepare for travel home as soon as possible, before border closure of various countries.
As such, our ISILAUNCH team – preparing all deployers and sequencers for flight – and our satellite team – performing the final flight preparation of the DIDO-3 satellite – made sure to swiftly place all equipment in safe storage conditions and pack up to return home. They arrived today, all in good health. Given the sensitive nature of the payload, which is typically prepared shortly before launch and cannot be stored for a long time, the team had to bring back the DIDO-3 satellite with them on the plane. Glad that we could arrange for all the necessary paperwork for that in just a few hours!
We are now coordinating with the launch authorities and all other stakeholders to prepare to resume launch preparation activities as soon as allowed by health conditions. Meanwhile, we wish all our launch customers, partners, and integration colleagues all the best and good health while we all stay strong and get through this unforeseen situation!