Beginning late on Sunday, and carrying on through the early hours of Monday, the team undertook the task of unpacking the THOR 5 spacecraft from its container. It was necessary to complete this process quickly, as the THOR team had to be out of Processing Hall 101 Monday morning to make way for a Russian satellite coming into the same hall. That spacecraft, Express, is scheduled to be launched Jan. 28 in the first flight for Proton in 2008. The unpacking process began with the removal of the lid of the spacecraft container. The spacecraft had been wrapped in special blankets to protect it from any possible contamination during its journey to Baikonur. Next, the blankets were carefully removed and our team got its first look at THOR 5 at the Cosmodrome. At this point a few satellite specialists inspected the spacecraft for any signs of damage. As expected, no damage was found, so we commenced removing our valuable package from its container. [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/Thor-5/entry5a.jpg[/img] The spacecraft made the trip in the horizontal position. In order to remove it from the container, it had to be rotated to a vertical position, which was carefully and successfully completed by the team from Orbital. Now in its vertical position, THOR 5 was ready to be lifted by crane from its container and transferred a few feet onto a rolling dolly, where it will spend the next many days undergoing tests of all its critical systems. This is a period we refer to as Standalone Operations, where the spacecraft manufacturer, Orbital, performs tests on and ultimately fuels the spacecraft in anticipation of mating it with the Breeze M/Proton M launch vehicle.