TanDEM-X Blog
 
 

Initial reports of success from the control room

13. October 2010, 17.01
We are off again; the team at the German Space Operation Center (GSOC) and their colleagues from EADS Astrium gathered two days ago in the control room to manage the transition to close formation flight. We began the first manoeuvre on Monday, 11 October 2010; this is referred to as the ‘drift start’ manoeuvre, which gives the TanDEM X satellite (TDX) the necessary momentum to close to a distance of one kilometre behind TerraSAR X (TSX) within a few days.
Harald Hofmann
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Harald Hofmann
 
 

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X 'chatting' for the first time

27. August 2010, 13.40
Even though the 'chit chat' between the satellites has so far consisted of no more than the exchange of synchronisation signals – "Hello, here I am!" – that is been all that was needed for the first simultaneous imagery to be captured by TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Since 22 July 2010, TerraSAR-X has been flying ahead of TanDEM-X at a distance of just 20 kilometres, in a formation defined for test purposes and which also affords scope for a special series of radar experiments. They have now completed the first ever experiment with bistatic radar involving two satellites flying together in formation.
Marc  Rodriguez-Cassola
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Marc Rodriguez-Cassola
 
 

‘The baby cries!’ We have a satellite in space …!

21. June 2010, 19.26
But first things first – here the events of the first 100 minutes:

L +00:00:00 (04:14:03 CEST)
‘Lift off’ – the Dnepr is ejected from its silo by a gas generator and the launcher’s engines ignite to begin the flight into orbit in a southerly direction.)

L +00:01:50 (04:15:53 CEST))
The first launcher stage separates. On the launch video, we see a white cloud and, shortly after that, the spent rocket stage falling away.
Stefan Buckreuß
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Stefan Buckreuß
 
 

That was smooth!

21. June 2010, 04.39
4:39 am Tons of us collected to view the stream and the control room from the bridge. A textbook launch, that was. Mission operations have also just confirmed separation. (Click on full article for further updates)
Karin, alt Ranero
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Karin, alt Ranero
 
 

Mission Control Center in Baikonur up and running

18. June 2010, 09.23
Now it is time for me to report for you as well. I am the representative of the German Space Operations Center, GSOC, in Oberpfaffenhofen, and it is my job to ensure timely transmission of critical information during the launch. I flew from Munich on Monday and have been here for a couple of days now. There is already quite a bit to see and do. We saw the next batch of crew leaving for the ISS boarding buses to the launch site. Hermann Berg has already written about the Soyuz launch and the latest activities with TanDEM-X. My first assignment was yesterday, when the Mission Control Center (MCC) was put into operation.
Michael Schmidhuber
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Michael Schmidhuber
 
 

Two successful launches – that’s motivating!

16. June 2010, 19.41
There were recently two successful launches (our congratulations!) – the payloads of the Prisma and Picard missions were launched together from Yasny. We followed these events via their live streams online. As will be the case with TanDEM-X, a Dnepr launcher was used. Problems with the launcher would likely have affected our launch date. So obviously, we were relieved about the smooth launch. And TanDEM-X is next in line!
Hermann  Berg
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Hermann Berg
 
 

TanDEM-X: An impression in pictures

08. June 2010, 14.34
A short, but very up-to-date report, prepared during our lunch break. The TanDEM-X satellite was lifted out of its mechanical handling system and placed temporarily on a tripod.
Hermann  Berg
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Hermann Berg
 
 

Integration of TanDEM-X with the launcher begins!

08. June 2010, 09.30
I have now settled myself in Baikonur and become acquainted with everyday issues. As of last Tuesday, I have replaced my colleague Michael Bartusch as the project management representative of the space agency here at the launch site. I will be reporting about the TanDEM-X satellite (TDX) on this blog up until the launch.
Hermann  Berg
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Hermann Berg
 
 

Tests completed - the next TanDEM-X transmission will come from space

31. May 2010, 09.26
With finalisation of the functional tests for the satellite bus and instrument, we have reached another important milestone. Evaluation of the test data confirmed that everything was nominal. In one of the last tests, the satellite was powered up solely by its internal supply and the external power was switched off. This too was successful, so the satellite was turned off and the wiring to the electrical test equipment was removed – a slightly melancholic moment. The next time we receive a signal from the spacecraft it will be in orbit, having separated from the launcher.
Michael Bartusch
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Michael Bartusch