Well it has certainly been one of those weeks out here in Baikonur. As soon as we finished celebrating the successful launch of the XM-5 spacecraft (SC) with a great BBQ, we were already welcoming the next campaign team – SkyTerra 1.
Beginning on Saturday, we said a welcoming hello to the SkyTerra 1 main team from Boeing and our customer LightSquared. Then on Sunday we said goodbye to the XM-5 equipment, as the backhaul was completed successfully. They even loaded a few of the Loral mechanical team onto the Antonov for the trip back home. Then another goodbye as the remainder of the XM-5 team from Loral headed back home to sunny California. Oh, yeah, then there was another hello, as the SkyTerra 1 SC and cargo arrived later Monday. Did you get all that?
The one constant through all of this: The ILS team, as they will remain intact through the second campaign.
So as we were waving goodbye, we were already offloading the SkyTerra 1 SC. SC fitcheck was completed, standalone testing was started and we were underway! Once we had a chance to catch our breath, it was decided to hold a "welcome to Baikonur" BBQ hosted by the Boeing riggers. And despite the already chilly weather, as we hit 0 degree Celsius (32 degree Fahrenheit) already, the boys braved the weather and did a great job. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Kudo’s to the hotel staff for the great job setting up the dining experience inside the Fili Hotel.