Wednesday, 2 December 2015

It's Launch Day!!!

After a slight delay yesterday LISA Pathfinder launch countdown officially got underway his afternoon at 17:00 GMT.

The team are now in the midst of what will be a long night ahead hopefully culminating in a sucessful launch at 01:04 GMT on 3rd December 2015.

So what happens during the countdown?

The countdown for LPF is around 11 hours.  To begin with it is relatively quiet, the electrical spacecraft team arrive at the spacecraft control room and begin powering up the spacecraft control centre, similar activities happen in the launcher control room (all physically separate places).  Then the main control room for the mission comes online around 8 hours prior to the launch time.

Of couse around the world at both the main mission control centre in Europe and at the various tracking stations around the globe people will be taking their seats for their part in the LPF story.

For the next few hours all efforts are concentrated on checking out the numerous interfaces, making sure communication between all parties is working, ensuring every contributing element is GO for launch.

Around 3 hours before the scheduled lift off, the mobile gantry is removed, revealing the launcher.

Finally, in the last 30minutes, the status of all elements will (hopefully) turn Green for GO!  

With a 1s launch window to target, all eyes will be focussed on the GO status in the final 15mins.  

Stay tuned tonight for live updates via twitter.  Follow events as they unfold during the final hours with me @vicki_lonnon

Want to watch the coverage of the launch live?  Tune in online at, live feed begins 20mins prior to to launch.

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