[SatNews] Remarkable images from on-board cameras provide a detailed “ride-along” view of Arianespace’s Flight VS07, which orbited Europe’s Sentinel-1A from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Recorded during the 23-minute mission on April 3, multiple cameras covered the action from final countdown to separation of the mission’s payload. The Arianespace/European Space Agency/Roscosmos-copyrighted video begins with the pre-launch steps as seen from two cameras—mounted on opposite sides of the medium-lift launcher. Looking down from the launcher’s upper portion, the opening sequence includes separation of umbilical connections for Soyuz’ Fregat upper stage, followed by the tilt-back of two umbilical masts. One of these masts provides fluids and electrical connections for the launcher’s Block I third stage, while the second mast services the Soyuz vehicle’s Block A core stage.
Soyuz’ engine ignition is clearly seen in the video with the start-up sequence for the first stage’s four boosters and central core second-stage. This is followed by liftoff and the opening of four arms that supported the vehicle while on the pad, and which are opened by Soyuz’ upward movement. Major steps during the flight trajectory as shown by the video are the jettison of Soyuz’ first stage boosters; separation of the two-piece payload fairing that protected Sentinel-1A during the initial ascent (as viewed by an upward-looking camera); dropoff of the second and third stages; and the mission-concluding deployment of Sentinel-1A by Fregat for operation in Sun-synchronous orbit.
Flight VS07 was Arianespace’s seventh mission with the medium-lift vehicle from French Guiana, and its Sentinel-1A passenger is the first for a family of dedicated missions to form the core of Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network.
Watch the video at http://youtu.be/rhqclpAa208
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