by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Apr 08, 2014
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 startup 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.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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