It is hard to believe that it is November already. It seems like we just started this campaign! But that is how operations go out here in Baikonur.
Since we last checked in, all teams have been quite the busy. Once the SC stand alone operations started, the activities in Hall 103A have been almost nonstop. Electrical checks were performed and completed with no issues, and they were immediately followed up by the prop team doing what they do best. Oxidizer and hydrazine fueling were both completed right on schedule and the SC was readied for joint operations start up by Saturday afternoon.
And all the while, KhSC was their own kind of busy in hall 111. Not only are they completing preparations on our launch vehicle, they received the next launch vehicle and they are making preparations already for the NEXT commercial campaign.
The real excitement of a campaign starts when joint operations starts. And sure enough, joint operations began as planned at 0700 on Sunday morning. Not only are the days filled with activities on both sides, but everyone knows that this means launch day is a mere two weeks away. All parties have met in Hall 101 and at present, the SC is mated to the Breeze M upper stage. Preparations are being finalized for the orbital unit to go horizontal, with the installation of the payload fairing scheduled next. Can you say “logo signing?”
L – 13 and counting.