Launch blog — day 1

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Cross-posted from Andrew Jaffe’s Blog and the Planck Mission Blog

Today was spent in Cayenne — the capital of French Guiana, where most of the hotels are located, and Kourou — home of ESA’a Centre Spatial Guianaise. We climbed up a nearby peak for a look over the Spaceport, but mostly we saw hand-sized spiders and a hazy view of what some very large if indistinct structures.

Closer up, we (about a hundred scientists, obviously more than the ESA staff were used to) got a tour of the facilities, starting in the “Jupiter II” control room where the launch will actually be, um, controlled:
Arianespace control room

We also saw the launch sites for the Vega and Soyuz rockets, and of course for our own Ariane 5:
Ariane launch pad
But better will be tomorrow, when we get to see the rocket — our rocket — rolled the few kilometers from its current building to the pad in preparation for Thursday’s (hoped-for) launch.

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3 Responses to “Launch blog — day 1”

  1. phoenixpics Says:

    GREAT blog! Fantastic to see ESA and ESA scientists doing more of this! :-)) Best of luck for Thursday!

    Stu (Cumbrian Sky)

  2. Dee Doe Says:

    Thanks for the blog and good luck on Thursday🙂

  3. phoenixpics Says:

    Sorry, did you say HAND-SIZED spiders?!?!? Are you INSANE?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I’d outrun an Ariane 5 to get away from those! Ewww!😦

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