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July 6, 2009

It is the end of another successful mission here at ILS. The ILS launch team members that were planning on returning to the US, have done so. Thanks to everyone who followed along with the blog. Please stay tuned because the next launch is already in preparation.

June 30, 2009

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite built by Space Systems Loral for SIRIUS XM Radio, Inc. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 12:24 AM Eastern Time, or 04:24 GMT, 9 hours and 14 minutes after liftoff. Everything occurred as planned with ignition, shutdown and separation of the Proton’s first three stages, then the Breeze M upper stage with the satellite continued the mission, igniting five times, and then releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

June 30, 2009

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd & 4th burns, as well as jettisoning its additional propellant tank. The vehicle is now in a 5-hour coast period, during which we will have nothing to report. The 5th burn is scheduled to start around 12:03 AM EDT, or 04:03 GMT. Separation of the SIRIUS FM-5 spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 15 minutes.

June 30, 2009

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite, we have received confirmation that the 2nd burn of the upper stage occurred and shut down as scheduled. The next events are scheduled for about 2 hours from now. The Breeze M upper stage will ignite for a 3rd time and burn for approximately 11 minutes; after that the additional propellant tank will be jettisoned, and the 4th burn will start. All this will happen in a span of almost 15 minutes while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the 4th burn ends.

June 30, 2009

We have received confirmation of completion of the first burn. The vehicle is now scheduled to be out of range for about an hour, after which we will hear confirmation of the second burn.

June 30, 2009

We had a successful liftoff about 15 minutes ago of our Proton Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite. The three stages of the Proton vehicle have performed as planned, and it is up to the Breeze M upper stage to complete the mission. The upper stage has begun its first burn, which is scheduled to last around 7 minutes.

June 30, 2009

We have liftoff! of the Proton M Breeze M rocket and the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite.

June 15, 2009

The SC team successfully completed their first day of propellant loading on Friday. Saturday is a preparation day for the second day of fueling, which takes place on Sunday. The Breeze M is also making its way to its fueling station for fueling on Sunday before making its way back to Hall 101 for the beginning of Joint Operations next week. With limited access to 92A-50 during fueling operations, a handful of people made their way to Kurkut. Kurkut is a memorial dedicated to a famous Kazakh poet and musician credited with inventing the kobyz, the national instrument of Kazakhstan. The poet is buried near the memorial. After a very interesting and educational hour touring the museum and walking around the site, we hopped back into the bus and made a stop in town for some pizza before heading back to base camp.

June 5, 2009

Thursday night featured a duo of events for the Launch Team: an international friendly volleyball game (SS/Loral versus Khrunichev) and an international cuisine. The report has come back that the Russians narrowly defeated the Americans in a tightly fought battle. Unfortunately there is no photographic record of this match, as there arose some unexpected camera difficulties. A rematch will take place sometime in the near future, as our colleagues from DB Salyut and ZERKT arrive this weekend and will be able to supplement the Khrunichev squad. As Loral and Khrunichev were battling it out on the volleyball court, ILS was cooking up a storm at the Polyot kitchen in preparation for burrito night in appreciation of all of our Pinkerton guards. Burrito night was a resounding success and everyone’s stomach wished that the food was not quite so good, since more than one person left the table with an over-full belly.

May 28, 2009

The SC arrived right on schedule on Tuesday. Due to some extremely windy conditions, it arrived at the processing facility early the next morning, where it was unpacked and prepared for the Fitcheck with the adapter. After a successful Fitcheck on Wednesday, the SC made its way into Hall 103A for standalone operations. We will welcome the propulsion team and say good bye to some of our colleagues with a barbeque on Sunday.

May 26, 2009

The majority of the Sirius FM-5 campaign team landed in Baikonur just after a rare rain shower on Saturday afternoon. We were met by a cool breeze and a gorgeous day. The days have remained cool and sunny and we hope that this uncharacteristically fine weather holds for our Memorial Day barbeque this evening and spacecraft arrival tomorrow.

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