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Space Blog

Rigging NigeriaSat-2 for launch

As the launch of NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X grows ever closer, the final preparations are underway at the launch site in Yasny, Russia. What does it actually mean to get a satellite ready for take-off? We’ve spoken to Project Manager Andrew Carrel about the work of the mission launch team, who are busy onsite getting the satellites ready to be shot up in space. Once unpacked from their transit case the mission launch team, consisting of engineers from SSTL and Nigeria’s NASRDA, immediately began a series of meticulous tests to make sure that the satellites had made the journey in good condition and that everything was working as it should. With no problems discovered, the team could then move on to making the final preparations and fittings. Andrew Carrel said: "When transporting satellites such a long distance, there’s always a risk things will have changed since the tests we made at SSTL before we pack them up. We were pleased to see that everything was working absolutely fine, making the preparation work much more straightforward."
Packing NigeriaSat-2
Packing NigeriaSat-2
The campaign team repeated the tests done at SSTL in the final AIT stage, testing the electrical circuits and making sure that, for example, the solar panels reacted correctly when illuminated. The satellite’s subsystems were then prepared, carefully filling up the propellant and charging the batteries in the power system. Many of these preparations can only be made in the last few days before the launch to make sure the satellite is in optimum condition. This includes removing the so called "red tag" items, such as lens caps and other protective covers, as well as fitting the so called "green tag" items, such as electrical plugs to replace tests cables.





03 August 20110 Comments1 Comment

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