The End of Another Successful Mission

After a great launch, with a great team, we are now at the conclusion of our mission. All team members scheduled to come home have already left on the departure charter and we look forward to seeing them back in the office. Thanks to everyone who followed along with the blog. Dont forget, a new mission is just right around the corner.

READ MORE

Mission Successful!

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the Nimiq 4 satellite built by EADS Astrium for Telesat. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 3:00 am Eastern time, or 7:00 am GMT, 9 hours and 11 minutes after liftoff. Everything occurred as planned with ignition, shutdown and separation of the Proton’s first three stages. Then the Breeze M upper stage with the satellite continued the mission, igniting five times, then releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

READ MORE

Third and Fourth Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd & 4th burns, 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 for before 3:00 a.m. Eastern time, or 7:00 a.m. GMT. Separation of the Nimiq 4 spacecraft is scheduled to follow that by about 20 minutes.

READ MORE

Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 15 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the Nimiq 4 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 8 minutes.

READ MORE

All Systems are Go

[align=center][img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/Nimiq-4-Blog/n4-Erected-blog.jpg[/img][/align] [b]15 September[/b] “Yes sir” or “yeah sure” The gang was given approval by the Russian State commission yesterday evening to roll the Launch vehicle out to Pad 39. Following tradition, at 06h30 today we watched the ILV roll out. Once at the pad, we watched as the rocket slowly and quietly tilted and took another opportunity for photos. Later that night, ILS sponsored a SC Erection party. We were also graced with the presence of a few of the Russian State Commission members, and those able to clear their dance cards enjoyed a few spins around the Fili patio. [b]16 September[/b] Welcome “Baik” Today and over the next few days the technical teams will perform routine checks of the ILV. The schedule is proceeding nominally and has allowed for some of the gang to spend time developing other launch vehicles. After another long day, Astrium hosted a dinner at the Kometa to welcome a few Astrium and Telesat personnel who arrived late in the evening. [b]17 September[/b] The gang gets delayed So it’s getting to be that time of year. Some of the veterans to the Cosmodrome say there are two ways to know the weather is changing out here. One, it rains. The other way to tell something big is coming, ominous clouds. The morning of 16 Sept. the ground was wet and today the sky was cloudy. The temperature dropped and the wind has picked up. I won’t mention the elephant in the room, as there is an official press release. The gang just wanted to remind you that when conversations are awkward, people talk about the weather.. [b]18 September[/b] The gang is on standby All teams continued to perform final SC checks, complete paperwork and for some of the ILS team, prepare for the next campaign. We anxiously awaited the arrival of Russian Commission members, as their plane carried the replacement units for the Launch Vehicle. Installation and then testing until late into the night produced positive results, and we are back on schedule (well, add 24hours and 1 minute).The few days of fall are over and winter is blowing in strong. Handicaps increase at the largest bunker of any golf course in the world and while most people are adapting with layers, others are still holding out for Buffet to show up. [b]19 September[/b] Guess who’s coming to the Russian State Commission, Yar. All hands hoay! After a brief final morning meeting, the gang headed for the Launch Pad to watch the blessing of the rocket ceremony. Nothing says “good luck” like a wet slap in the face with a horse hair brush. No, really. It may seem strange, but it’s tradition and it is another aspect that makes working in Baikonur so unique. Other note worthy events for the day: the VIP’s arrived this afternoon, it was international talk like a pirate day and the Russian Government Commission meeting is to take place tonight at 20h00.

READ MORE

Second Burn Completion

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the Nimiq 4 satellitie, we have received confirmation that the 2nd burn of the upper stage occurred and shut down as scheduled.
The next events are scheduled for about 2 hours from now. The Breeze M upper stage will ingite for a 3rd time and burn about 10 minutes; after that the additional propellant tank will be jettisoned, and the 4th burn will start. All this will happen in a span of about 20 minutes while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the 4th burn ends.

READ MORE

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 confimation of the second burn.

READ MORE

2008: A Space Odyssey

[img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/Nimiq-4-Blog/spaceman-n4blog.jpg[/img] [b]8 September[/b] Safety is our middle name With the Propulsion team working on decontamination and packing up, they were able to schedule-in SCAPE training for some of the gang. (SCAPE stands for Self-Contained Atmospheric Protection Ensemble. It’s what the propellant team wears when they fuel the spacecraft.) We had a blast, and even though it was safety training, there is something about an air-conditioned suit that just says “I came to ROCK.” In all seriousness, the 10 minutes we got to train in the suits, these guys have to do for 6+ hours with extremely hazardous materials. They really know what they are doing and they do a great job. [b]9 September[/b] Signed, sealed and photographed The NIMIQ-4 launch campaign continues to stay on schedule. After its ride on the tilter, the satellite and Breeze M were encapsulated by the payload fairing halves, and just like a butterfly from a caterpillar, the SC and Breeze M are now an Ascent Unit. The fun continued while the gang “tagged” the fairing logos and posed for pictures. [b]10 September[/b] Later that same week… The AU was detached from the tilter and lifted onto a railcar for its climate controlled journey to Hall 111. Once comfortably inside Hall 111, the AU was hoisted from the railcar and placed in front of the three stages of the Proton. It was rolled back and very carefully connected to the Proton, thereby forming the Integrated Launch Vehicle, or ILV. [b]11 September…[/b] Really early 11 September… Unmanned Soyuz launch scheduled for 01h49 on 11 September was absolutely spectacular. Night turned to day as liftoff was on time, and after about a minute of rumbling and sunglasses, it was night again. We have never been this close to a launch. Thanks KhSC for arranging our adventure. Although the late night made for a long day today, it was well worth the trip. [b]12 September[/b] Dear ILV, Welcome… The ILV was hoisted from the integration fixtures and placed onto the specially-made rail transporter. On the morning of 13 September, the ILV will roll-out of Hall 111 for a 2-day all expenses paid stay at the Breeze M Fueling Station. [b]13-14 September[/b] Careers in Science You know the drill, haz ops mean days off (Except for Milon, Sorry Milon!). We had many options, like heading into Baikonur city to visit our friends at the meat market, or to pick out that perfect camel hair sweater for the fall. KhSC also arranged another trip out to a “resort” this one called the Blue Lake. Those brave enough to face the 4 hour bus ride are sure to be rewarded with good food, great company and one heck of a beautiful day.

READ MORE

I’ve Got a Golden Twinkle in My Eye

[img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/Nimiq-4-Blog/pla-nimiq4-blog.jpg[/img] [b]3-4 September[/b] Now Mausoleum, Now You Don’t The propulsion team successfully completed the loading of fuel into the SC. Again, 92A50 was cleared of all non-essential personnel giving the rest of the gang an opportunity to visit Kurkut, a Kazakh mausoleum. [b]5 September[/b] Good Morrow to You Sir Astrium completed SC closeouts and prepped the SC to be mated with the Breeze-M. Astrium also held another party at the Polyot to welcome the mid campaign team and say goodbye to the early team. [b]6 September[/b] The Buddy System This is when the SC is mechanically and electrically mated to the Launch Vehicle hardware. The SC was mated to the adapter system and prepared to mate to the Breeze M, which will happen tomorrow afternoon. [b]7 September[/b] Everything gets Intense Inside the Processing Hall… Phew. Watching the tilter slowly rotate a partially fueled Breeze M with the fueled SC from vertical to horizontal was a little tense. The Gang was able to enjoy another successful joint operation and still have time to find the final golden ticket.

READ MORE

Contact Us!

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