Welcome to the KA-SAT launch campaign blog. Let’s do it!

We are in full swing here in Baikonur after saying goodbye to the SkyTerra 1 team and welcoming the KA-SAT main team on Wednesday. The weather has been mild thus far, with fog greeting us in the morning only to burn off by the afternoon, so we have beautiful sunsets and night skies full of stars.

There has been a flurry of activity since the early team arrival on 11 November. Between managing the overlap with the SkyTerra 1 team and getting the KA-SAT campaign off the ground, we’ve definitely hit the ground running. Especially our Program Integrator, since it is her first time in Baikonur, there is a lot of new stuff for her to learn.

Khrunichev gave us a tour of Hall 111 to see the KA-SAT launch vehicle, and Dr. Bronfman, director of programs at Khrunichev, provided us with many good stories about the history of the Proton during the tour. On Thursday, we were able to see the launch vehicle before it went to testing. It’s quite a sight to see it in a horizontal position because of its massive size.

The good news today is that the spacecraft arrived! It was a chilly, windy day out at the airfield, so strong that it could have knocked you over. It’s been a long day, and it’s not over yet. We’ll have the fitcheck either tomorrow or Sunday. These long days keep us busy.

We’ve taken a break from BBQs, but we’ll have a big Thanksgiving celebration, complete with turkey and all the fixings. 🙂

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