London, UK: The three Astrium built satellites for the Swarm mission have completed a series of environmental tests designed to demonstrate their fitness for space flight. The three satellites will be launched from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome in July 2012.
The Swarm mission is expected to analyse, in unprecedented detail, the geomagnetic field and its evolution over time. The mission will help in improving our understanding of the earth’s interior and climate.
The European space company, Astrium, is currently carrying out further extensive functional checks on the satellites at its supplier’s IABG test facility near Munich, in Germany.
Preparations for the launch are scheduled to begin in May, when the three satellites will be shipped to Russia. All three satellites will be launched simultaneously from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (around 800 kilometres northeast of Moscow) on a single Rockot launch vehicle.
Scientists hope that the three identical Swarm satellites will provide the most accurate survey to date of the geomagnetic field and record any changes that occur.
Source: Space Daily