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Post Fueling Party and Joint Ops

July 29, 2009 7:16 pm (GMT)
ILS Launch Team

[b]Post Fueling Party – Hawaiian Style[/b] Space Systems/Loral has outdone themselves again! While their ever so efficient propellant team was hard at work ensuring that the AsiaSat 5 spacecraft was being properly fueled and of course making sure all safety precautions were being followed, the other team members were preparing a Hawaiian style BBQ. Loving care was poured into every detail right down to slow cooking the pork ribs for four hours before their descent into "Mount Santa Maria." Yes, these tender morsels had the power to satisfy even the angriest of the volcano Gods. The pulled pork was tender and flew from the containers almost as fast as it hit the serving area. The transformation from a desert backdrop to a Tiki pavilion was most impressive. Swathed in hanging fishes, Hawaiian maidens, paper lanterns with traditional Hawaiian music playing in the background, the scene was complete and the luau could begin. The only thing missing was the smell of ocean in the air and waves lapping at our feet! Now what would a Hawaiian luau be without the Hawaiian shirts and lei’s. No disappointment here as the party-goers were clad in their best Hawaiian garb. Hawaiian shirts have definitely made it to the top of Baikonur summer attire and would be a welcomed addition to your wardrobe for summers here. To top the luau off nicely, the wayward camel returned from his walk-about, so in between Hawaiian dances, and conversations, personnel were able to climb aboard the two-humped camel for a quick tour of the area outside the Fili Hotel. This was a fantastic way to wind down from very intense days of fueling, recalibrate the body and soul and to start our Joint Operations schedule with a stress-free mind! [b]Joint Operations – 29 July 2009[/b] Joint Operation began today in Hall 101 with the movement of the Asiasat 5 SC. SS/L personnel moved the SC carefully from its home for the last two weeks in Hall 103A to Hall 101 to begin preparations for mating to the Payload Adapter (PLA) and then onto the Breeze M upper stage. After the SC was moved to Hall 101 it began its slow and careful journey to the PLA. The entire effort was a well orchestrated event with the cast of many performing every task to precise specifications all the while keeping the safety of SC and personnel involved in the operations at the forefront of each step. With the move of the SC to the PLA complete, RUAG personnel began their clampband operations to mate the SC to the PLA. The conclusion of the SC/PLA mating makes the three pieces of hardware the Orbital Unit (OU). The OU will be hoisted onto the Breeze M Upper Stage (US) and encapsulated, but not before a series of exhaustive electrical and mechanical testing is complete. Commencement of Joint Operations is one of the longer days of the campaign and due to the critical nature of each operation. Every detail must be carefully checked and rechecked before the next step in the process begins. These operations in their entirety are very impressive to watch but the most impressive thing is the incredible attention to detail and great care executed in each step.

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