May 7, 2012
Good progress on MSG-3 launch preparations
All activities towards the 19 June launch are progressing well and overall preparations toward launch are being completed on schedule.
The satellite has successfully passed a number of tests to verify its status after transport and prior to launch. These tests included the spacecraft reference tests and functional testing of the SEVIRI and GERB instruments.
Setting up the satellite and instruments configuration for flight is now going to start. Fuelling operations will commence towards the end of May, following the go-ahead from a dedicated review to confirm the satisfactory completion of any residual open work.
In parallel the preparation of the launch vehicle is also progressing well: the mechanical integration of launcher is ompleted and the electrical and hydraulic/pneumatic connections are ongoing. The co-passenger flying with MSG-3 — a very heavy telecommunication satellite called ECHOSTAR XVII — is arriving in Kourou on 10 May.
The preparation for the Launch and Early Operations Phase at ESOC is fully underway: the simulation campaign heavily involves the EUMETSAT team, who will be working with ESOC during all critical phases following the launch.
Finally, the preparation for the satellite and system commissioning at EUMETSAT is keeping the full operations preparations team busy with the validation of the operational scenarios — with very good results overall.