European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Green for Sentinel-2
09-02-2017 01:05 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Green for Sentinel-2

On Monday this week, 30 days before the scheduled launch of Sentinel-2B, flight director Pier Paolo Emanuelli reported that the ‘ground segment’ – the hardware, systems and networks used on Earth to control the satellite in orbit – is ‘green’ for launch.

Liftoff is scheduled for 7 March at 01:49 GMT on a Vega rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. The mission control team at ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, will take over control of Sentinel-2B about 58 minutes later.

In Darmstadt, final prelaunch activities, including simulation training and readiness tests, are in high gear as the centre counts down to Europe’s newest Copernicus satellite.

In the photo, Pier Paolo Emanuelli discusses Sentinel flight operations with ESA’s head of operations, Paolo Ferri, in the main control room at ESOC.

Credit: ESA/P. Shlyaev

Entrance to Hertz chamber
09-02-2017 01:00 PM CET

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Entrance to Hertz chamber

The doorway out of ESA’s Hertz test chamber, used to test the radio performance of large space antennas, as captured by photographer Edgar Martin.

Part of ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands, the metal-walled ‘Hybrid European Radio Frequency and Antenna Test Zone’ chamber is shut off from all external influences.

Its internal walls are studded with radio-absorbing ‘anechoic’ foam pyramids, allowing radio-frequency testing without any distorting reflections. In addition, this cladding also absorbs sound – making Hertz an eerily quiet place to work.

Portuguese-born Edgar Martins has collaborated closely with ESA to produce a comprehensive photographic survey of the Agency’s various facilities around the globe, together with those of its international partners.

The striking results were collected in a book and exhibition, entitled The Rehearsal of Space and The Poetic Impossibility to Manage the Infinite.

Characteristically empty of people, Martins’ long-exposure photos – taken with analogue wide film cameras – possess a stark, reverent style. They document the variety of specialised installations and equipment needed to prepare missions for space, or to recreate orbital conditions for testing down on Earth.

Credit: Edgar Martins

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