IndoStar II/ProtoStar II Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 10 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the IndoStar II/ProtoStar II 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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Victory Day, ILV closeouts, BM Fueling, Roll-out to Pad 39 & Verticalization

[b]9-13 May:[/b] Victory Day, ILV closeouts, BM Fueling, Roll-out to Pad 39 & Verticalization [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/WW2-Memorialblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]WW2 Memorial[/i] [b]9 May:[/b] ILS/ProtoStar/Boeing hosted a celebration for Victory Day. KhSC was not authorized to work on this day so we all enjoyed a much needed day off. Well most of us did, we kept the cooks busy! [b]10 May:[/b] Work resumed in H111, closeouts and testing by Boeing and KhSC from H111 kept most of the team busy. KhSC is working on a compressed schedule in order to have the ILV into the BM Fueling station by early morning on 11 May. By the end of the day, the ILV was transferred onto the erector that will travel via train to the BM fueling Station. [b]11-12 May:[/b] Breeze M high pressure fueling took place nominally. The state commission gave the authorization to roll the IndoStar II/ProtoStar II Launch Vehicle to the pad. [b]13 May:[/b] Roll out from the Breeze M fueling station was at 06h30 this morning, as is the tradition. Team members gathered on the launch pad around 09h30 to watch the ILV lift into its vertical position. Pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical connections were made, the MST was rolled up to the erected ILV, RF link checks were successful and the PLF blankets were removed. Final checkouts and preparations will continue until for the next few days.

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More logo signing, Cinco de Mayo, Pad equipment transfer and AU transfer to H111, Soyuz Launch

4-8 May: More logo signing, Cinco de Mayo, Pad equipment transfer and AU transfer to H111, Soyuz Progress Launch [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/final-logo-signingblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]Final Logo Signing[/i] [b]4 May[/b] More Logo Signing – Last day to sign the PLF logo. Team members who waited to sign today or just arrived on 2 May gathered in H101 to dedicate their work and time away from home to family, friends and colleagues. Usually this is the last operation before moving the AU onto the railcar and rolling into H111 for mating with the LV. This time, we had to stay in H101 until the LV was authorized for mating the AU. The rest of the work continued on schedule. [b]5 May[/b] Cinco de Mayo – Fiesta at the Fili. Boeing team members really worked hard to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. Mexican food, Mexican and American drinks and a piñata full of previous campaign stickers and candy! [b]6/7 May[/b] Boeing moves to the Pad– Transfer of the ground support equipment from the control room at 92A-50 to the launch pad took most of the day. The next day Boeing prepared the pad and vault for hardware and RF link checks with the equipment that was transferred the previous day. Meanwhile, KhSC prepared the AU for transport to H111. All this work and we still managed to take in a camel ride. [b]8 May[/b] Soyuz progress launch at 00h38 today. Day time or night time this launch is impressive because the viewing area is way too close! Nothing beats a Proton Launch though, and we are getting close to seeing one real soon! The first rehearsal of launch day operations went nominally from the Bunker at the Launch pad to the control room at 92A-50. After the rehearsal, some team members took off for the Gagarin Museum.

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Breeze M Mating, Tilting & Encapsulation

30 April – 01 May: Breeze M Mating, Tilting & Encapsulation [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/SC-PLA-entering-Universal-Standblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]SC and PLA entering Universal Stand[/i] The morning following the SC/PLA mating, the new pair were lifted and mounted onto the Breeze M. After mating, the electrical configuration checkouts and testing continued. In the evening, the orbital unit (OU) was tilted horizontally in the universal stand. Boeing completed testing and another battery charge during the night. Boeing was also kind enough to fix the teams hamburgers outside on the grill, with the sudden temperature increase. Morning of 01 May the team members gathered in H101 to watch the encapsulation of the OU with the payload fairing halves. The logos are partially installed and the teams that are departing on the 02 May charter had a chance to sign their names and write messages to loved ones. As usual, with a charter flight scheduled, so too is a BBQ. It also gives our Russian colleagues a chance to teach the US teams how to celebrate May Day.

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Joint Operations, SC/PLA mating, Propulsion Team packs up

29 April: Joint Operations, SC/PLA mating, Propulsion Team packs up [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/Fitcheckblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]SC Mating Verification[/i] Joint Operations began at 06h00 once Boeing prepared and moved the fueled SC from H103A to H101. In H101, the lifting sling was installed and the SC was mounted onto the PLA. RUAG then installed, tensioned and verified tensioning of the clampband. To me that just sounds like an ABBA song. We celebrated (early) the arrival of the RUAG specialists by having a “Mamma Mia” movie night. They wrote songs about everything, no wonder everyone loves them. After a quick lunch break KhSC mated the electrical umbilical connectors and installed the MLI on the PLA. Boeing configured the electrical test setups and they have a battery charging scheduled to finish before work begins tomorrow. KhSC has also extended an invitation to tour H111 tomorrow, since most of the Boeing team will be heading back to the States. In parallel, the Boeing Propulsion Team, continued with propellant equipment decontamination in H103A. They will finish out by tomorrow.

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SC loading, Breeze M returns

25-27 April, SC loading, Breeze-M returns [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/bluemenblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]SCAPE[/i] The Breeze M was transported back to 92A-50, with the high pressure tanks loaded. It was installed in the universal stand and will go through umbilical connector hookups and testing prior to mating with the SC/PLA. Standalone operations are scheduled to end today, and tomorrow will begin Joint Operations with the PLA/SC mating.

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Consent to Fuel, BBQ, Breeze-M Fueling

23-24 April: Consent to Fuel, BBQ, Breeze-M Fueling [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/grill-workblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]Grill Work[/i] Boeing received the authorization to fuel the IndoStar II/ ProtoStar II SC and continued with finalizations of the equipment, SC and fueling crew. KhSC sealed the cable pass-throughs in between the Control Room and h103A. Highly skilled engineers managed to seal both sides in under 20 minutes, but that was not the most impressive skill. These guys were crouched down on the floor with their feet flat. You should try it, it’s not easy. So with the consent to fuel, ILS and the customer sponsored a BBQ at the Fili Hotel. We enjoyed a wide variety of vegetables, we saw avocado in one of the salads, and meats that came all the way from Brazil. We didn’t have to look far to find volunteer cooks, and just like surgeons, the man in charge plugs in his mp3 player and controls the tone. After 3 hours of latin smooth jazz, we all learned to salsa. While we were celebrating cultures at the Fili, the Breeze M was transported to Area 31 for high pressure loading. Two days of loading and the Breeze M will be transported back to 92A-50 and prepped for mating with the SC and PLA.

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Stand Alone Ops & Table Tennis Tourney

20-22 April, Stand Alone Ops & Table Tennis Tourney [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/final-countdown-to-No.1blog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]Russia Versus USA [/i] The dust has settled on what some have called the greatest table tennis tournament of any launch complex in Baikonur. Where fortunes are won and lost. I’m exaggerating of course, but you get the idea. This was a chance for contenders to prove their mental and physical strength against the best and the worst; where the excuses stopped and the paddles did all the talking. It was a clean sweep; Russia celebrated an early victory, eliminating the contestants representing the USA all within the first round. The next hour the Russian challengers worked meticulously to weaken their competition. By the end, there could be only one. After the tournament the winner was kind enough to share his edible chocolate prize with all of the participants. Nothing beats eating through emotions, it was delicious. (see [url=http://www.ilslaunch.com/indostar-ii-protostar-ii-gallery]photo gallery[/url] for image of prize) On an operational side, after the Fitcheck, Boeing moved the Spacecraft back onto the cart, rolled back into H103A and then onto the Fuel Stand, and had a battery charge. The propulsion team has spent the days working to prepare the facility and themselves for Oxidizer and Fuel loading. KhSC has spent the time running electrical tests on the Launch Vehicle and preparing the Upper Stage Breeze M for their high pressure fueling.

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