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CryoSat-2 Launch Timeline

April 6, 2010

A timeline of the most critical events around the launch of ESA’s CryoSat-2 satellite, scheduled for 15:57 CEST on Thursday, April 8, 2010.

CryoSat-2 will be placed into orbit 717 km above Earth by a Russian Dnepr rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

About 16 minutes after launch, scheduled for 15:57 CEST, CryoSat-2 will separate from the upper stage of the booster. Just a few seconds later, the satellite’s radio transmitter will automatically come to life and start sending a signal to ground. 

Mission controllers at ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, will watch carefully for receipt of the signals, which are expected, first, via the tracking station at Malindi, Kenya, starting at 16:14 CEST, and, second, via the Troll station, Antarctica, starting at 16:28 CEST.

Timeline – launch activities April 8, 2010

Note: All times subject to change

Event may not happen at the precise time stated; time indicated may be start/end of a time slot

The mission clock starts when the launcher switches to internal inertial control, 4 seconds before liftoff

Tracking stations: Malindi (Kenya), Troll (Antarctica), Svalbard (Norway), Kiruna (Sweden)

LCC: Launch Control Centre at Baikonur || AOS: acquisition of signal

Time
(CEST) Mission time Event
07:57:00 -08:00:00  Start of countdown
09:57:00 -06:00:00  Spacecraft switch-on
13:57:00 -02:00:00  ESA Mission Control Team on console in ESOC/Main Control Room
14:17:00 -01:40:00  Satellite in Launch Mode
15:07:00 -00:50:00  Command from LCC to switch to internal power
15:07:00 -00:50:00  ESA Mission Control Team confirms GO for launch
15:17:00 -00:38:00  LCC announces “CryoSat-2 GO for launch”
15:37:00 -00:20:00  Launch teams evacuate silo area
15:42:00 -00:15:00  Start of launcher automated sequence
15:52:00 -00:05:00  Last possibility for launch abort by ESA
15:54:00 -00:03:00  LCC reports “Dnepr GO for launch”
15:54:04 -00:02:56  START button pressed at LCC
15:56:05 -00:00:55  ”Launch readiness 1 minute” from LCC
15:57:00 +00:00:00  Launcher switches to internal inertial control
15:57:04  +00:00:04  Engine ignition; launcher lift-off
15:58:50 +00:01:50  First stage separation
16:02:09 +00:05:09  Payload fairing separation
16:02:54 +00:05:54  Second stage separation
16:13:43 +00:16:28  CryoSat-2 separation
16:13:47 +00:16:41  CryoSat S-band radio transmitter switch ON
16:14:00 +00:17:00 Malindi station: expected acquisition of signal (AOS)
16:28:11 +00:31:11 Troll station AOS
17:23:13 +01:26:13 Svalbard station AOS
17:26:31 +01:26:31 Kiruna station AOS

Image Caption: ESA’s Earth Explorer CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that overlay Greenland and Antarctica. Credits: ESA – AOES Medialab

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