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- Astronomy - Nov 17 350,000 stellar systems to be mapped by Warwick astronomers
- Astronomy - Nov 16 Next Generation Astronomical Survey to Map the Entire Sky
- Astronomy - Nov 16 Images of strange solar system visitor peel away some of the mystery
- Astronomy - Nov 16 UofG astrophysicists welcome latest gravitational wave observation
- Astronomy - Nov 16 Full house for EDRS
- Astronomy - Nov 15 Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath
- Astronomy - Nov 15 Ozone ups and downs
- Astronomy - Nov 14 Illuminating the Universe
- Astronomy - Nov 14 Stanford pilots satellite worksite in San Jose
- Astronomy - Nov 14 With launch of new night sky survey, UW researchers ready for era of ’big data’ astronomy
- Astronomy - Nov 13 Duo of titanic galaxies caught in extreme starbursting merger
- Astronomy - Nov 9 Puzzling new supernova may be from star producing antimatter
- Physics - Nov 9 Probing the nature of the neutrino using SuperNEMO
Sentinel-5P launch preparations in full swing
With liftoff set for 13 October, engineers at Russia’s Plesetsk launch site are steaming ahead with the task of getting Europe’s next Copernicus satellite ready for its journey into orbit.
The Sentinel-5P satellite has been at Plesetsk in northern Russia for almost two weeks. So far, it has been taken out of its transport container, positioned for testing and engineers have started ticking off the jobs on the long ’to do’ list.
William Simpson, ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite and launch manager, said, "It was great to see it arrive here in Plesetsk where the team was ready and waiting, keen to make sure the satellite was in good health after its voyage from the UK.
"The launch campaign has certainly got off to a flying start. We first unpacked all the electrical and mechanical support equipment, which is essential for testing the satellite, and then we used a crane to remove Sentinel-5P gently from its container.
"Once we had it in position, one of the first jobs was to switch it on. This is always a tense moment, so there were smiles and cheers all round when the satellite clicked on, showing that all was well.
"We’re now running though the list of checks, both for the satellite and for its Tropomi instrument, and the propulsion team is preparing to fuel the satellite before it joins the upper stage of its rocket and is encapsulated in the protective rocket fairing.
"While we still have a lot to do, so far, so good."
Sentinel-5P is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. It follows five other Sentinel satellites already in orbit and delivering a wealth of information about our planet.
The Sentinels make up the core of EU’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network. An EU flagship space initiative, Copernicus provides operational information on the world’s land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to support environmental and security policymaking, and meet the needs of citizens and service providers.
Sentinel-5P carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi to map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols - all of which affect the air we breathe and therefore our health, and our climate.
With a swath width of 2600 km, it will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used through the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for air quality forecasts and for decision-making.
The satellite will be lofted into orbit on a Rockot launcher on 13 October at 10:27 GMT (11:27 CEST).
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