Latest Rokot Stories

2009-03-11 10:32:33

With liftoff just five days away, ESA's GOCE spacecraft "“ encased in the protective two half shells of the launcher fairing "“ has been transported from the clean room and installed in the launch tower at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The so-called Upper Composite, which comprises the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Explorer (GOCE) satellite joined to the KM-Breeze Upper Stage of the Rockot launcher and sealed within the fairing, was protected by a thermal...

2009-03-13 06:00:00

ESA is about to launch the most sophisticated of Earth Observation satellites to investigate the Earth's gravitational field with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. GOCE data will be crucial for obtaining accurate measurements of ocean circulation and sea-level change, both of which are affected by climate change. The data will help to better understand processes occurring inside the Earth which are linked to volcanoes and earthquakes. The "Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation...

2009-03-03 08:35:00

With less than two weeks to go before ESA's gravity mission launches, activities at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome are in full swing. Last week was particularly intense with a number of important tests being carried out. Firstly, the satellite's ion propulsion valves were successfully checked. Although some of the valves had been dormant for almost two years, all went well. By counteracting drag along GOCE's exceptionally low orbit above the Earth, the specialized ion propulsion system is integral...

2009-02-12 08:25:00

Following word from Eurockot that launch of the Earth Explorer SMOS satellite can take place between July and October this year, ESA, CNES and the prime contractor Thales Alenia Space are now making detailed preparations for the last crucial steps before ESA's water mission is placed in orbit. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite has been in storage at Thales Alenia Space's facilities in Cannes, France since May last year awaiting for a third stage of the Rockot launcher to...

2009-02-04 10:13:22

ESA is now gearing up to return to Russia to oversee preparations for the launch of its GOCE satellite "“ now envisaged for launch on 16 March 2009. This follows implementation of the corrective measures after the anomaly with the Rockot launcher that delayed the launch of GOCE by Eurockot Launch Services last October. An advance party from ESA has just arrived at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia to arrange logistical matters while the team of engineers will arrive in...

2008-10-24 12:35:00

Ongoing technical problems with its launcher has forced Europe's gravity mission to be bumped to next year. The arrow-shaped GOCE satellite will map tiny variations in the pull of gravity experienced across the world, giving scientists a clearer insight into how the oceans move, and provide a universal reference to measure height anywhere on Earth. But reliability concerns over its Russian rocket means a lift-off is now unlikely before February. The delay is frustrating for the Gravity Field...

2008-10-02 13:39:10

ESA and European industries have updated the planning of the preparatory activities for a new tentative launch date of 27 October 2008 for the GOCE satellite. On 7 September, preparatory activities for the launch of GOCE from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia were stopped by Eurockot due to an anomaly identified in one of the units of the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launcher's Upper Stage Breeze KM. Russian launcher authorities are completing the investigation of the...

2008-09-08 18:00:06

Excerpt from report by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti Moscow, 8 September: The launch of the Rokot Russian rocket with the GOCE satellite, the first European satellite designed to measure the Earth's gravitation field and study the circulation of water in the World Ocean, was to take place on 10 September but has been postponed indefinitely for technical reasons, Lt-Col Aleksey Zolotukhin, aide to the commander of the Russian Space Troops for information, told RIA-Novosti on Monday...

2008-09-09 11:00:00

The preparatory activities for the launch of ESA's GOCE satellite from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia had to be stopped yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 September) by Eurockot due to an anomaly identified in one of the units of the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launcher's upper stage (Breeze KM ). The correction of the problem will require the replacement of this unit. In order to perform this operation, it will be necessary to de-mate the launcher's upper composite and...

2008-09-04 10:10:00

As preparations for the launch of GOCE on 10 September continue on schedule, an important milestone has just been achieved as engineers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia say farewell to the satellite as it is encapsulated in the two half-shells of the launcher's fairing. Now sealing the slender five-meter long GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) spacecraft from view, the protective fairing will not be opened again until around three minutes after...

Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'