CubeSats integrated to PSLV

Integration of the satellites was planned for Tuesday late afternoon and evening, yet due to a slight delay with the integration of the primary satellite, Oceansat-2, we had to wait until this was finished.

The ITUpSAT1 team had to leave again on Tuesday night, so it seemed that they would miss the integration of their satellite to the upper stage. Fortunately, we could arrange for them to visit the launch pad on Tuesday afternoon, before leaving SHAR for Chennai.

As the PSLV integration teams had worked very hard to finish the work on the primary satellite integration, we could still start integration of the CubeSats (and other auxiliary payloads) on Tuesday, albeit at the very end of Tuesday. We picked up the satellites from the satellite preparation facility around 22:00hr and were brought to the First Launch Pad.

There we were, walking up to this illuminated 60+ meter tall building, at night, on the east coast of India, to integrate 4 small satellites from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey with the 190 tons of propellant holding ‘beast’ inside the building.

SwissCube was the first to be integrated to the EB Deck, around 01:00hr local time, followed by its ‘deck companion’ ITUpSAT1 about 15 minutes later. After mounting the other auxiliary payload on this deck, one of the Rubin payloads, the deck was mounted onto the upper stage again. Likewise, BEESAT and UWE2 were integrated to the second EB Deck, which was mounted on the opposite side of the upper stage around 02:15hr, along with the other Rubin payload.

With all four CubeSats now integrated to the PSLV, most of our active work is done here. After a good night’s sleep (or what was left of it), we packed and prepared all the paperwork for the return shipment of all ground support equipment. We went back to Chennai late last night, to bring the BEESAT team to the airport, and to spend few days around Chennai before returning to the base for launch preparations and launch.

The launch is currently still scheduled to take place on 23 September, late in the morning (Indian time). More information will soon follow.

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