Monday, March 29, 2010

ESA Cryosat-2 Launch: Invitation for Press Witnesses

Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab

CryoSat's 'roof' is formed from solar panels rigidly fixed to the satellite body, designed to provide adequate power under all orbital conditions for this non-Sun synchronous satellite.

Lift-off is scheduled for 15:57 CEST (13:57 UTC) on Thursday 8 April 2010. The launch operator is Kosmotras. Representatives of the press are invited to watch the event live from ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

This new launch date has been confirmed by International Space Company Kosmotras following the implementation and validation of a change in the DNEPR launcher’s flight software.

Monitoring variations in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and changes in the vast ice sheets that overlie Greenland and Antarctica, ESA’s ice mission CryoSat deploys the most sophisticated satellite ever to study the Earth's ice fields.

CryoSat-2 will be placed into orbit 700 km above the Earth by a Russian Dnepr rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Press representatives are invited to watch the launch live from ESA’s ESOC establishment in Darmstadt. A European Press Centre will be open from 12:30 to 17:30 and ESA is hosting a launch event from 14:00 to 16:30.

Live televised transmission of the launch will provide pictures from Baikonur and from Mission Control at ESOC for broadcasters. Further details of the TV transmission can be found at ESA senior management and programme specialists will be on hand to give explanations and interviews.

Media representatives wishing to follow events from Darmstadt or watch the launch live from another ESA establishment should fill in the accreditation form (link) and fax it back to one of the numbers provided.

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