05 Nov 2005 11:31On Friday 4 November the final integration of the Soyuz launch vehicle with the Venus Express Spacecraft atop has taken place in the MIK-40 integration building. The launch vehicle and its passenger are now fully assembled and preparations are ongoing for the rollout to the launch pad planned for Saturday 5 November at 07:30 in the morning local time (01:30 UT).
In the afternoon the final arming (i.e. the electrical connection to the onboard units) of the Spacecraft onboard batteries has taken place. The installation of the ARM plugs on the external "skin-connector bracket" of the Spacecraft has taken place through a specific access hatch in the payload fairing.
The Spacecraft, including its pyrotechnic devices and propulsion equipment, is now fully armed and ready for flight, and from now on there will be no further physical access to Venus Express.
The Russian State Commission meeting was held at 19:30 local time (13:30 UT) on 4 November. All involved parties (e.g. Venus Express, Soyuz launcher, Fregat Upper Stage, range safety, pad operations, meteo, etc) have confirmed their readiness, and rollout and installation of the launcher on the pad have been authorised to commence Saturday morning at 07:30 local time, 01:30 UT.