EchoStar XXI Launch Team Arrival

19 November 2016
Well, the EchoStar XXI launch campaign has officially begun! This trip was a little faster to site as our flight was an Airbus A319 which not only provided more comfort for the team, but we arrived a few minutes earlier. The utilization of this aircraft was in part due to the changes and improvements to the local airport runway that can now handle this type of aircraft. The team arrived onsite, checked-in to our hotels and then off to the Arrival Briefing on safety and security at our new home away from home. From there, a delicious dinner was served and then off to bed as tomorrow begins what we all came for—to launch EchoStar XXI!

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Rollout!

Spectacular sunrise, warm temperatures, slight breeze provided an outstanding start to the day as members of our team along with a multitude of Russian colleagues spanning multiple organizations (it takes a village to launch a rocket) watched in animated anticipation, awe and with a great deal of pride as the Intelsat 31 SC cocooned in the mighty Proton Rocket rolled out from the Breeze-M fueling station at 0630 today bound for Launch Pad 24.

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Breeze M Fueling Day 1

The mission team’s hard-work is paying off!  This morning at 0830 the ILV majestically rolled out of H111 to the Breeze-M fueling station for two days of fueling. 

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Hive of Activity

The last three days have been a beehive of activity in Hall 101 as teams have come and gone to perform a multitude of operations to ensure that the SC and Breeze-M are healthy, verified and ready for upcoming operations.  We now have the Ascent Unit being prepared for transfer to H111 where it will be integrated with the rest of the launch vehicle (rocket).  In addition, the teams are also well under way in preparing for joint operations at the launch pad.

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Joint Operations Underway

There you have it….as Friday 27 May draws to a close, so does Day 1 of Joint Operations for the Intelsat 31 launch campaign.  Preparation for Day 1 of Joint Operations started the night before as the SSL mechanical team prepared and transferred the Intelsat 31 SC into H101 along with the necessary equipment to perform our operations seamlessly.

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Intelsat 31 SC Fully Fueled

…Intelsat 31 SC fully fueled!  Friday 13 May was lucky for our team and was a great way to close out the “standard work week”   Well done to the SSL Propulsion team and ground support crew!  Decontamination operations will take place over the rest of the weekend.

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NTO Load Completed

Phase one of fueling is complete  Stellar performance by the SSL Propulsion team along with minimal ground support crew as we have successfully loaded the Intelsat 31 with NTO.   

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Fitcheck Successful

Sunday 8 May, was not only Mother’s Day but also a mammoth milestone as the team prepared for and successfully completed our Intelsat 31 fitcheck. 

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Operations on Point

Our team is full steam ahead in our campaign preparations. Both the SC and LV have been undergoing the gauntlet of tests necessary for a healthy SC and LV also known as stand-alone operations.

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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