SIRIUS FM-6 | Horseshoes and BBQ’s!

Tonight kicked off the horseshoe tournament benefiting the local hospital. Teams from Sirius, SSL, ILS and Khrunichev took turns heaving the shoe trying to outdo each other.  Playing for fun and a great cause, some took it more seriously than others! And even those watching enjoyed the spectacle, not to mention the food and drink!  I’ll be sure to write with the final results after round two later this week.

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ASTRA 2E Mission Success!

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the ASTRA 2E satellite built by Astrium for SES. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 2:50 AM Eastern Time, or 06:50 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.

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ASTRA 2E 3rd and 4th Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its third and fourth 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 2:31  Eastern time, or 06:31 GMT, and last for approximately 6 minutes. Separation of the ASTRA 2E spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about  that by about 13 minutes.

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ASTRA 2E Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 11 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the ASTRA2E 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 4 minutes.

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ASTRA 2E Breeze M MECO 2

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the ASTRA 2E 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 about 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 about 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.

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ASTRA 2E First Burn

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.

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SIRIUS FM-6 | Baikonur Locals

Baikonur is an often barren landscape however alive with nature and wildlife. I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the locals.  The unlikely friendship between cats and foxes is commonplace here.  Maybe they work together to keep their often surprisingly plump bellies full.  Also, making for great photos this time of year are the flowers.  The hotel has a great little flower garden to brighten the landscape!

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SIRIUS FM-6 | Birthdays in Baikonur!

Being on a launch campaign means you often spend national holidays away from home.  It also means sometimes your own personal holiday, your birthday, occurs during a campaign. ILS Program Director, Mike Thee, celebrated his on September 22nd. Despite being away from loved ones birthdays are still made special with an elaborately decorated cake. Knowing Mike’s love for all things Philadelphia Eagles his cake was adorned with a football!  I wonder what he wished for when blowing out the candles?!

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Summer in Baikonur

It seems like summer has returned with a vengeance in Baikonur, with daytime temperatures being in the 90s for the last few days. We’ve all been working hard since the start of joint operations, so it will be nice to have our first joint BBQ tomorrow with our customers and the Khrunichev, and manufacturer teams. Everyone looks forward to tri-tip, ribs and all the usual BBQ fare!

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Contact Us!

For the latest news and information, or if you have a question, please email ILS at contactus@ilslaunch.com