Successful launch qualification test for Proba-2
16 September 2008
Proba-2 has successfully completed the second of three launcher separation tests at the launchers test facilities in Moscow.
The three tests are being carried out using the Structural and Thermal Model (STM) of the spacecraft to examine how Proba-2 will perform during separation from the Rockot launch vehicle. For each test, different configurations are employed to ensure full functionality of the separation system.
The Proba-2 satellite is being developed as part of ESAís General Support and Technology Programme (GSTP). Proba-2 is a technology demonstration mission with a payload comprised of instruments that will observe the sun in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum and measure selected properties of the space plasma surrounding the spacecraft.
The primary mission objective of Proba-2 is to obtain images of the solar disk to capture its activity patterns. Those images will be autonomously selected onboard for transmission to the ground. A radiometer operating in a narrow ultraviolet band will give a direct measurement of the Sunís activity. The density and temperature of the space plasma will also be measured.
Proba-2 will also demonstrate new equipments and technologies including star trackers, GPS receivers, lithium-ion batteries, reaction wheels, an integrated power and data-handling computer and magnetometers.
Verhaert Design & Development NV (Belgium) are developing, manufacturing and launching the Proba-2 satellite.
Proba-2 will be launched, together with ESAís Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia by Eurockot GmbH, a German-Russian joint venture.
The launch window is currently set for mid-April to mid-July 2009 and the mission duration is planned to be 2 years.
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