Fond Farwell

It is with a certain catch in our throats that the Intelsat 31 mission team bid a heartfelt and fond farewell to our long standing friend, mentor, colleague Mr. Alexey Popov.

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Team Building

With the initial flurry of activity completed, the SC housed in H103A and running thru the gauntlet of tests, our first team building exercise was held….a welcome to Baikonur BBQ.  The team dined on ribs, chicken and hot links in addition to a plethora of nibbles and side dishes.   By nights end old friends had caught up and new friends had been made.  Not only do SSL build great SC they are also seasoned BBQ Masters! It’s a win/win for all on this mission.

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Early Team Arrival

We had optimal start to our Intelsat 31 campaign in Moscow…team members were bright eyed and bushy tailed for our 0730 hotel pickup.  Sufficiently full from a delish breakfast, luggage stowed, the bus drivers made short work of the journey to Domodevedeo airport to catch our charter.  We were all pleasantly surprised to have barely any traffic on the road…it definitely helps that it was a) early and b) a Saturday morning.

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Full Steam Ahead!

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.  The cumulation of all these operations will be an encapsulated SC/Breeze M thus transforming into our E9B AU (Ascent Unit)…aka the pointy piece (nose cone) of the launch vehicle.

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Joint Operations has begun!

There you have it….as Sunday 13 Dec draws to a close, so does Day 1 of Joint Operations for the E9B launch campaign.  Our day started early, Airbus prepared and transferred the fully fueled SC from Hall 103A thru to Hall 101.  Once in H101 a plethora of operations took place prior to the actual lifting of the SC and mating with the KhSC Payload Adapter.  The remainder of the day has been spent connecting umbilicals, running a battery of electrical tests, and finalizing preparations prior to the lifting and mating with our Breeze-M.  It has been a day of multiple teams of specialists performing incredibly detail orientated work.  Tonight’s operations will close with another electrical test and review of test results. 
Tomorrow Monday 14 Dec will be Day 2 of Joint Operations and yes…you guessed it, another early kick-off for the day.

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E9B Fully Fueled

…and we are fueled! 2 days of MON loading, 1 day of Hall 103A reconfiguration, 2 days of MMH loading and we now have a fully fueled E9B SC!  Well done Airbus Stevenage CPS team and ground support crew!

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SC Fueling – NTO Completed

Phase one of fueling is complete . Over the past two days, the Airbus CPS team from Stevenage along with a minimal ground support crew have successfully loaded the E9B SC with NTO. Next up is reconfiguration and preparation of Hall 103A so that we can start MMH loading later this week. 

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Thankful

Thanksgiving…traditionally and historically, an American holiday spent with family, friends, and loved ones giving Thanks for all that one has been blessed with in life no matter how big or small it may be.

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Campaign In Full Swing

Over the past week there has been much activity and a plethora of operations on our E9B launch campaign.  The SC has been in standalone operations running through a succession of tests with the results being checked, verified and checked again by the Airbus specialists in the Hall 103A on one side of the building.  KhSC is meanwhile on the other side of the building in Hall 101 hard at work ensuring that the Breeze M is on point with its series of tests, verifications and checks.  KhSC specialist teams are also diligently working on the Payload Adapter which now stands ready for Joint Operations, and finalizing the Payload Fairing operations.  The closing out and completion of these operations means collectively we are all moving closer to Joint 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