Inmarsat-5 F3 | SC Off-Load

After the Antonov arrived carrying the Inmarsat-5 F3 SC at 10:00 on 1 May, the teams performed a flawless off-load. The SC then took a train ride to the 92A50 processing facility and arrived around 21:00, and was tucked safely away for the night in Hall 101.
The teams were back at it on 2 May performing the fitcheck that went succesfully in preparation to moving the SC into Hall 103A for SC standalone processing.

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Joint Operations Underway

Joint operations are well underway!  The first day of joint operations was 17 April.  All of the teams brought their “A” game, and worked together like a well-oiled machine. A lot of major operations have taken place in the last few days; from transfer of the fueled SC from Hall 103A to Hall 101, SC mating with the payload adapter (PLA), and then mating with the Breeze-M.  From there the (SC+PLA+BM) which is now called an Orbital Unit (OU) goes from vertical to horizontal via the tilter.  The titling of the OU is one of the awe inspiring operations to witness.  Great job by all involved.
Next up on our milestones is Breeze M fueling but before then the teams will encapsulate the OU in the Payload fairing (PLF), transfer the OU via railcar from Hall 101 to Hall 111 and then mate the OU with the rest of the rocket.  All the while both the SC and LV are continually tested to ensure that everything is nominal and falls within the required specifications.

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SC Fueling Completed!

As usual the Boeing Propulsion team and accompanying support crews brought their “A” game for the fueling operations.  With early starts and long days the team has successfully loaded both propellant components into the Centenario SC.  Due to the hazardous nature of the operations, all non-essential personnel were relocated to the hotels and had two days of down time.  Those team members lucky enough to have down time took the opportunity to head to town to do shopping and try out some of the local restaurants. Others remained hard at work from the hotels, conducting daily meetings, producing reports, ensuring launch campaign operations were moving forward and on target. Typically, to celebrate the successful completion of fueling, a good old fashioned American BBQ is held to salute the team for a job well done unfortunately,  Mother Nature had other ideas for the weather so the celebratory bbq will be held later this week.

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Centenario | Noteable Reference

Today is a very special anniversary for ILS and a notable one for the commercial launch industry: the anniversary of the first commercial ILS Proton launch with SES’s Astra 1F satellite 19 years ago today. With 88 commercial flights to date, we thank our global customers for their continued support and trust in ILS Proton.

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Centenario | Welcome to Baikonur BBQ

Being away from family and friends for launch campaign especially during significant holidays is never an easy thing.  As a way to welcome our first time customer, the mission team and to cap off an impeccable start to launch campaign operations, Boeing did what they also do best…threw some meat on the barbie and produced an outstanding good ole fashioned American barbeque!
This team building exercise was an unparalleled success!

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Centenario | SC Off-Load

A cool and breezy spring day provided the back drop for the arrival of the Antonov carrying the Centenario SC. The amalgamated teams performed effortlessly to have a flawless off-load with the SC arriving safe and sound via train at the 92A50 processing facility at 0100 on 3 April. After some well-deserved rest, the respective teams were back in action and successfully performed the SC fitcheck prior to transferring the SC into H103A for SC standalone processing.
A job well done!

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Centenario | Main Team Arrival

The weather was cold but clear for our arrival on April Fools Day, and the start of the Centenario launch campaign. We were happy to find no pranks waiting for us when we landed! The Proton LV is currently being assembled in Hall 111, with the Breeze M, PLF, and PLA all being prepped in Hall 101. The Centenario spacecraft has been loaded on the Antonov-124 and is en route to Baikonur from LAX.

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Breeze M Fueling Done and Dusted!

With expert efficiency the KhSC fueling team has completed their hazardous fueling operations.  Due to the hazardous nature of the operations, the entire mission team was relocated to the hotels and had two days of down time.  Some of the team members took the opportunity to head to town to do shopping and try out some of the local restaurants.  Other’s played catch up with laundry, watched movies; some were treated to a visit to the Gargarin Museum and got an extensive guided tour, visit Yuri Gargarin’s house, explored the Buran mock-up and received a history lesson of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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I5F2 Rollout!

On a crisp, crystal clear winter morning a few brave mission team members bundled up for the frigid temperatures and stood with bated breath and excited energy as the ILS Proton with I5F2 SC onboard completed its lasts checks before rolling out like clockwork at 630 am to launch pad 39. Regardless of the temperatures, there is always a great sense of pride watching the mighty Proton rocket pass by on its way to the pad as it represents a culmination of hard work, dedication and perseverance put in by multiple team members from around the globe towards one common goal of launching the I5F2 SC.  Next milestone ILV virticalization.

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