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2008: A Space Odyssey

September 12, 2008 6:17 pm (GMT)
ILS Launch Team

[img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/Nimiq-4-Blog/spaceman-n4blog.jpg[/img] [b]8 September[/b] Safety is our middle name With the Propulsion team working on decontamination and packing up, they were able to schedule-in SCAPE training for some of the gang. (SCAPE stands for Self-Contained Atmospheric Protection Ensemble. It’s what the propellant team wears when they fuel the spacecraft.) We had a blast, and even though it was safety training, there is something about an air-conditioned suit that just says "I came to ROCK." In all seriousness, the 10 minutes we got to train in the suits, these guys have to do for 6+ hours with extremely hazardous materials. They really know what they are doing and they do a great job. [b]9 September[/b] Signed, sealed and photographed The NIMIQ-4 launch campaign continues to stay on schedule. After its ride on the tilter, the satellite and Breeze M were encapsulated by the payload fairing halves, and just like a butterfly from a caterpillar, the SC and Breeze M are now an Ascent Unit. The fun continued while the gang "tagged" the fairing logos and posed for pictures. [b]10 September[/b] Later that same week... The AU was detached from the tilter and lifted onto a railcar for its climate controlled journey to Hall 111. Once comfortably inside Hall 111, the AU was hoisted from the railcar and placed in front of the three stages of the Proton. It was rolled back and very carefully connected to the Proton, thereby forming the Integrated Launch Vehicle, or ILV. [b]11 September...[/b] Really early 11 September... Unmanned Soyuz launch scheduled for 01h49 on 11 September was absolutely spectacular. Night turned to day as liftoff was on time, and after about a minute of rumbling and sunglasses, it was night again. We have never been this close to a launch. Thanks KhSC for arranging our adventure. Although the late night made for a long day today, it was well worth the trip. [b]12 September[/b] Dear ILV, Welcome... The ILV was hoisted from the integration fixtures and placed onto the specially-made rail transporter. On the morning of 13 September, the ILV will roll-out of Hall 111 for a 2-day all expenses paid stay at the Breeze M Fueling Station. [b]13-14 September[/b] Careers in Science You know the drill, haz ops mean days off (Except for Milon, Sorry Milon!). We had many options, like heading into Baikonur city to visit our friends at the meat market, or to pick out that perfect camel hair sweater for the fall. KhSC also arranged another trip out to a "resort" this one called the Blue Lake. Those brave enough to face the 4 hour bus ride are sure to be rewarded with good food, great company and one heck of a beautiful day.

Nimiq 4 Blog

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September 20, 2008 Mission Successful!
September 19, 2008 First Burn Completion

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