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Gaia ready for fuelling

5 Dec 2013, 10:26 UTC
Gaia ready for fuelling
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Towards the end of November, the first part of the Gaia launch preparation was complete: the satellite was 90% ready, with its tanks pressurised. The second part begins with filling the tanks with the appropriate propellants. This phase is particularly … Continue reading →

Map of the Guiana Space Centre – the S1B is situated close to point 3 on the map and the S5 is at point 5
Towards the end of November, the first part of the Gaia launch preparation was complete: the satellite was 90% ready, with its tanks pressurised. The second part begins with filling the tanks with the appropriate propellants. This phase is particularly dangerous because the propellants are toxic, and there is also a risk of explosion, so it is carried out in a dedicated building. That’s why Gaia had to move from building S1B in the payload preparation complex (EPCU), where it has been since the start of the campaign, to the S5 building to be fuelled.
Photo of the EPCU zone S1 (source: Astrium campaign booklet)
How do you move Gaia from one building to another?
Gaia, complete with its sunshield, could not be transported in the container that originally brought it ...

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