Nov. 1 Rockot - SMOS

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Launch time: 01:50 GMT on 2nd (8:50 p.m. EST on 1st)
Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia

A Eurockot Rockot vehicle will launch the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite for the European Space Agency. The launch will also carry the Proba 2 microsatellite into orbit. SMOS will measure moisture in soils and salt content in oceans during its mission.


More info from ESA's pages:

Live video stream will start about 30min before the launch:

Also these direct stream links might work: (you probably have to copy & paste these to your media player)



SMOS satellite has plenty of Finnish technology inside it, so I'm more than happy to see it fly.


Here is the video:


Heck, this thing leaves launchpad in less time than blink of an eye. Unfortunately the actual footage of the launch is almost as short...



Guest : Laser tag caps Proba-2’s technology-testing year
9 November 2010

Credits: ESA/Pierre Carril

Proba-2’s first year in space proves that small size does not prevent significant science return. To date, the microsatellite has returned more than 180 000 images of the Sun along with other solar and space weather data, while demonstrating a range of advanced technologies.

Launched on 2 November 2009 with the full-sized SMOS mission, the microsatellite carries a total of 17 new technologies that are being put to the test one by one.

For instance, Proba-2 incorporates two experimental GPS receivers: one specifically developed for telecom and Earth observation satellites, built by Thales, and a highly miniaturised version developed by the German Aerospace Center, DLR. To check their accuracy, another advanced technology was employed: a Laser Retro Reflector built into a corner of the satellite’s underside, working like a cat’s eye on the highway.


PROBA2 is demonstrating a large number of new technologies in orbit:
* Digital Sun Sensor (TNO - NL),
* BepiColombo Star Tracker (Selex Galileo - I) – both this and the Digital Sun Sensor are digital attitude sensor based on APS technology, as well as micro-mechanical devices and folded optics. The latter design is a demonstration model for ESA’s forthcoming mission to Mercury.
* Propulsion module consisting of: • Cold Gas Resistojet Thrusters (SSTL - UK) using xenon as propellant. • Cool Gas Generator experiment (Bradford Engineering/TNO – UK/NL) a solid-state nitrogen gas generator which will generate nitrogen to re-pressurise the propulsion module tank. This COGEX system contains four solid state cartridges which -when ignited- generate nitrogen to re-pressurise the propulsion tank of the resistojet system and squeeze out more performance. • Propulsion controller which is integrated into AOCS I/F.
* A Fibre Sensor Demonstrator (MPB - CDN), with fibre optics interfacing with the propulsion module to measure temperature and pressure levels
* Science Grade Vector Magnetometer (SGVM) (DTU – DK) being directly controlled by the µASC electronics, delivering real time magnetic field components with a very high precision. This prototype is paving the way for an operational version to be flown on ESA’s Swarm mission.
* Experimental Solar Panel with a solar flux concentrator (ESP) (CSL - B), aimed at studying temperature behaviour and ageing effects resulting from concentrated solar flux. In-flight results show an 55% increase in cell efficiency, with measurements being repeated to monitor solar cell degradation
* A dual-frequency GPS receiver (Thales Alenia Space - F), radiation hardened and dual frequency, intended for use on many future missions
* An Exploration Micro- Camera (XCAM), (SpaceX - CH), a powerful miniaturised micro-camera with a large optical field of view
* A Laser RetroReflector (LRR) (Federal Unitary State Enterprise - RUS)
* A set of magnetometers (ZMM) (ZARM - D)
* Credit Card Magnetometer (CCM) (Lusospace - PT), this and the Zarm are new developments of high precision, high-rate three axis magnetometers
* A set of additional innovative GNC algorithms (NGC - CDN),
* TDM, an additional ADPMS board (measuring radiation effects) (Qinetiq Space, B)

Credits: ESA
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