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April 24, 2012

We have had a successful mission with the ILS Proton Rocket, carrying the Y1B satellite built by Thales Alenia Space and Astrium. We have had confirmation that the Y1B satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 3:30 a.m. EDT, or 07:30 GMT, 9 hours and 12 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.
 

April 23, 2012

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 3:11 a.m. EDT, or 07:11 GMT. Separation of Y1B spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 12 minutes.

April 23, 2012

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the Y1B satellite onboard, 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 and complete. All this will happen in a span of almost 20 minutes while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the 4th burn ends.
 

April 23, 2012

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.

April 23, 2012

We had a successful liftoff about 11 minutes ago of our ILS Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the Y1B satellite on board. 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 5 minutes.

April 23, 2012

We have liftoff! of the ILS Proton M Breeze M rocket and the Y1B satellite.

April 7, 2012

The first barbecue for the Y1B launch campaign luckily fell on one of the most beautiful days for weather in Baikonur.  A nice ambience surrounded the Fili Hotel as the mid-campaign charter arrived. The rare occasion to gather several organizations under a moon-lit sky was only enhanced with the smells of burgers and tri-tip blazing on the grills. Needless to say, everyone enjoyed the food, the music, and the feeling of anticipation for the launch to come.
 

ILS Team in Baikonur

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March 28, 2012

Although overlapping campaigns can be stressful, it also has its benefits.  While working on the IS-22 and Y1B programs, the ILS IS-22 Mission Team (Team Palme) and the ILS Y1B Mission Team (Team Prytula) were successful at handling the immense pressure of the overlap and did so with grace and poise.  A little “going away” party developed the night before Team Palme headed out of Baikonur after the successful launch of IS-22.  The gathering was not only a way to say farewell to Team Palme, but was also a way to welcome Team Prytula to the start of the Y1B campaign.
 

IS-22 and Y1B Teams

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March 22, 2012

22 March 2012 marked the arrival of the Yahsat 1B (Y1B) spacecraft.  The Antonov not only brought the spacecraft, but also brought the nice weather.  The bus to the airfield pulled in right as the Antonov landed, creating a sense of excitement and angst among everyone.  On this crucial day in launch campaign operations, the Y1B spacecraft was successfully offloaded from the Antonov and placed onto the railcar for the 6-hour ride to 92A-50.  A great photo of part of the Yahsat team was captured, as well as one of Team Prytula!

Y1B Team Prytula! Y1B Yahsat Team

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