Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Science Snap (#20): Sentinal-1A Dress Rehearsal

On the 3rd April 2014 the new satellite Sentinel-1 will be launched from French Guinea into space. It’s the satellite that has the InSAR community pretty excited as it will provide free Earth Observation data covering nearly all the world’s volcanoes.

Once the satellite is launched and is sat in its correct orbit, it has to “perform a complicated dance routine to unfold its large solar wings and radar antenna“. The ESA video below shows a fast motion test run of this unfloding in the cleanroom at Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France.

Copyright: ESA

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Elspeth is currently undertaking a PhD in Geology at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of ground deformation seen at a number of Kenyan Rift volcanoes. Elspeth tweets as @eamrobertson.