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December 9, 2008 6:20 pm (GMT)
ILS Launch Team

[img]/assets/Images/Media/Ciel-2-Blog/On-the-Pad.JPG[/img] The final launch countdown rehearsal went smoothly, and we are no longer tracking the upcoming launch by days. With the passing of 9:30am Sunday local Baikonur time, the 7/701 script is now running by hours. All thoughts are focused south to Launch Pad 39 and the integrated launch vehicle (ILV). One of the many traditions that our Russian partners have is the blessing of the ILV. Built into the script is a visit from one of the local Russian Orthodox priests to give his blessings and douse team members and the ILV with holy water in preparation for the upcoming launch. It is a very solemn Russian rite of passage for all of their launch vehicles, and no one is about to break from tradition at this point in the campaign, regardless of how cold the weather may be.  For those participating in the blessing for the first time, it’s quite an eye opener! Final checks and balances are being performed. At 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, 10 December Baikonur local time, there will be one final meeting with the State Commission. At this gathering, all parties will agree that the ILV is ready for fuel loading. Now the only thing we will wait to hear from all parties: The spacecraft and the ILV are "GO FOR LAUNCH!!!"

Ciel II Blog

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December 10, 2008 Successful Mission!
December 10, 2008 Down to the last burn
December 10, 2008 2nd Burn

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