The SC stand-alone testing is now complete and Monday we will be starting the phase known as joint operations. This is when the SC is mechanically and electrically mated to the launch vehicle hardware. Simply put, this is when we start making a lot of little pieces into one big piece! The first step is to mate the SC to the adapter system, a conical structure that attaches to the bottom of the SC. Next, we mate the SC-adapter combo and the Breeze M upper stage. Once the mating is successfully completed then all the testing and mechanical and electrical checks will occur.
Since the SC is ready to go, some of the team got the rest of the day off before the big push of joint operations. Several team members went shopping into town. But a few members were invited to visit the â€œhomeâ€ of the camelsâ€™ owner we rode the other day. Lunch at a traditional yurt is just part of our ongoing Kazakh education. As the honored guest, SES was presented with the lambâ€™s head and we all toasted him with horse and camel milk. Our host and his family made this afternoon a meal we will all remember for the rest of our lives!
**Of course, there are pictures in the [url=http://www.ilslaunch.com/astra-1m-gallery]photo gallery[/url].