December 30th, 2019
It’s an intense period at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where engineers from ESA, Airbus and CNES have been preparing CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) for launch, since the satellite have arrived mid-October. This sequence of photographs shows the Soyuz Arianespace System for Auxiliary Payloads (ASAP-S) being carefully and progressively aligned to CHEOPS, then lowered onto and finally mated to the conic adapter. The mechanical integration is completed by fastening the fixation bolts. The encapsulated CHEOPS satellite will lift off into space with the Soyuz-Fregat rocket on December 17th 2019.