SES-6 | Summer is Here!

Summer has most definitely arrived in Baikonur, with daytime temperatures being in the 90s for the last few days, and forecasted to stay that way for the rest of the campaign. We’ve all been working hard since the start of joint operations. With everything proceeding nominally for our 3 June launch date, most of team was able to celebrate the American Memorial Day and the rollout of the ILV to the Breeze M fueling station with a BBQ. Thanks to those who organized it – the tri-tip, tenderloin and pizza were all excellent!  During the Breeze M fueling days the halls are closed, so some of the teams were able to enjoy a trip to the market and a visit to Korkut Ata, a Kazakh mausoleum near the launch complex.

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SES-6 | Campaign Begins!

After saying goodbye to most of the Eutelsat 3D team and congratulating them on a successful launch, we had a busy few days of spacecraft (SC) propellant loading. Everything is going well so far, and that means some days at the hotel or a chance to go to town for some of us who are not involved in operations at the processing facility. Now with the start of joint operations, the teams will work together in the final stretch of the campaign for the last preparations of the Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) for launch. We’ll celebrate SC fueling and the start of joint operations with a BBQ for the entire team this week!

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EUTELSAT 3D | MISSION SUCCESS!

We have had a successful mission with the ILS Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the EUTELSAT 3D satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat Communications. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 9:15 PM Eastern Time, or 1:15 AM GMT, 9 hours and 13 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 Eutelsat 3D satellite aboard continued the mission, igniting five times, and finally releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

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EUTELSAT 3D | THIRD AND FOURTH BURN COMPLETION

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 for 8:53 PM Eastern Time, or 12:53 AM GMT. Separation of the Eutelsat 3D spacecraft is scheduled to follow that by about 20 minutes at approximately 9:15 PM EDT or 1:15 AM GMT.

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EUTELSAT 3D | SECOND BURN COMPLETION

As the Breeze M upper stage of our ILS Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the EUTELSAT 3D 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 about 15 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 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.

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EUTELSAT 3D | STAGE SEPARATIONS

We had a successful liftoff about 9 minutes ago of our ILS Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the EUTELSAT 3D 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 and a half minutes.

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Eutelsat 3D | Hall 111 Operations

We’ve started our second day of Breeze M fueling, squeaking it in right before the big Russian holiday, Victory Day.  It’s less than a week until our launch, and the excitement is building.  Hall 111 operations went quickly and smoothly.  The Eutelsat 3D Team had a very enjoyable evening last night courtesy of Thales – bowling and then a delicious dinner in town.  We had some pretty good scores, but nothing that would make it onto the wall!  Most of the team is off to the Kurkut mausoleum today, and tomorrow we are having a small little BBQ with 150 of our closest friends in Baikonur!

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