SkyTerra 1 Third and Fourth Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd and 4th burn, 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 9:22 p.m. EST, or 02:22 GMT. Separation of the SkyTerra 1 spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 14 minutes.

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SkyTerra 1 First Burn Completion

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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SkyTerra 1 Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 11 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the SkyTerra 1 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 7 minutes.

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And What’s a Schedule…Without Some Planned Breaks.

And it may be Baikonur, but the Polyot kitchen and dining hall were filled with the aromas of Italy…if only for one night. We took over the kitchen for a night and treated the team to Italian Night at the Cosmodrome. And while it was only frozen pizzas, it was all homemade spaghetti and meatballs, with a little East Coast and West Coast flare. Add some garlic bread and a tossed salad and you might have thought you were in Tuscany. Fortunately, there were no volunteers to sing “Areviderci Roma”.

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When A Schedule Comes Together

Joint operations continues right on schedule, as Hall 101 operations continue on full swing. Following the mate of the SC to the Breeze M, all eyes were on the KhSC tilter unit, as the orbital unit was rotated to the horizontal position. This is always an exciting scene as thousands of pounds of flight hardware are moved into a cantilevered position. This is one of the very unique things about a Proton launch vehicle assembly process. The hardware is assembled horizontally.

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All Work and No Play?…Never!

With all of the accomplishments of the past week or so, and of course the American celebration of Halloween, we sure had a couple of good reasons to BBQ. Throw in the fact that the weather certainly has cooperated, and everyone has taken the opportunity to enjoy every aspect of a launch campaign.

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A Work Filled Week

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.

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Goodbye / Hello!!

Well it has certainly been one of those weeks out here in Baikonur. As soon as we finished celebrating the successful launch of the XM-5 spacecraft (SC) with a great BBQ, we were already welcoming the next campaign team – SkyTerra 1.

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Welcome to the SkyTerra 1 Blog!

Welcome to the seventh ILS Proton launch campaign for 2010 – the launch of the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems-built, SkyTerra 1 satellite for LightSquared. Follow along with the mission team as they prepare for the launch.

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