12 – 14 April: Early and Main Team Arrivals [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/Media/IndoStar-II-ProtoStar-II-Blog/Welcome-Convoyblog.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] [i]The welcome convoy[/i] Arrivals from the United States had the pleasure to see snow still covering parts of Moscow; it does not “warm” up in Kazakhstan until around late May and early June. For the Boeing team it had been over a year since their last trip to Baikonur, and for the ILS launch Operations team, it felt like we had only been away for a week and one day… With our faces pressed against the charter windows staring out at the Kazakh Steppe, we were happy to be delivered into the arms of the Kazakhstan customs agents and see that beautiful Mercedes bus in working order. Arrival to the hotel seemed quick, followed by offloading of the luggage. As the bus pulled away, it began to sink in just how far away from home we are. And although we are almost disconnected from the world we know, there is comfort in knowing that we won’t have to deal with hassles like traffic, weather changes, airline baggage handling fees and expensive movie ticket prices for at least a month. Once settled into area 92A-50, a welcome convoy of locals decided to pay us a visit. Their stay was brief, but I’m sure we will see them again. As our arrival excitement died down we focused on the task at hand. Safety and security briefings and proper radio training tired most of the teams enough to squash the jetlag we all had coming, but with all the excitement of planning for the SC and Breeze M arrivals on 16 April how can anyone sleep?

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