Here’s what the launch team has been up to this past week. [b]25-26 August[/b] Prep-py Mcgoo vs. The Prop Monster The SC contractor has been testing and verifying that the SC is healthy, preparing to load propellants and configuring the SC for launch. While these tests are being conducted, the propellant loading team is completing their checkouts and preparing themselves and equipment for the upcoming days of fueling. [b]27 August[/b] The Gang Goes to Baikonur Some of the team members took advantage of the opportunity to visit the town of Baikonur. One of the warmer days, they were able to enjoy shopping, walk the town and concluded the trip at the local Pizza Restaurant, Palermo’s. It was a great day to get away from the Cosmodrome and sample some of the local food and shops. Arriving back, Astrium held a small barbeque at the Kometa. [b]28 August[/b] The Gang does Paperwork The team spent a very busy day reviewing the operational procedures, making sure all precautionary tasks were performed and in place, and that all essential personnel were ready to support the fueling operations. [b]29 August[/b] The Gang Gets Lifted The Nimiq 4 team was invited to view the launch of a Dnepr rocket from Area 31 of the Cosmodrome today. The warm weather and clear skies allowed us to view the rocket lift off and watch as it distanced itself from earth…like a rocket! It was simply amazing to watch the lift-off and wait for the sound to reach us. It only took seconds before it was completely out of our sight leaving only a trail of smoke as a reminder. [b]30 August[/b] The Gang Goes Overboard Building 92A-50 was reduced to essential personnel to support the first day of oxidizer loading. All teams were monitoring throughout the day as the progress of the prop team was announced via the radio. In between updates, the rest of the Nimiq 4 team enjoyed a PÃ©tanque tournament. At the end of the day, Astrium congratulated everyone on a job well done with a banquet, inviting Khrunichev, Pinkerton security Telesat and ILS. Needless to say we worked hard enough into the night to really enjoy the rarity of a day off! [b]31 August[/b] A Day at the Museum After the Saturday night festivities and since we were all given the day “off” the gang boarded the bus for an afternoon visit to the Gagarin Museum at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Many thanks go out to Khrunichev for accommodating their visitors with a very personalized tour. The customer was very pleased to find the Launch campaign photograph of the Anik F1R which included two of our customer representatives that are supporting the Nimiq 4 launch campaign! [b]1 September[/b] The Gang Gets Relaxed Khrunichev extended an extraordinary trip deep into Kazakhstan over 1 and a half hours bus ride to “The Zone of Relaxation” for our hardworking customer. It was hard to believe the resort is located in the middle of the desert, but it does exist and provided a day of sun, cool breezes, the opportunity to swim in a lake and a pool, sulfur springs and the chance to relax, something hard to do when working on a launch campaign with such a compressed schedule. Oh did I forget to mention the customer requested the company of two ILS? It was awesome. Customer and ILS reps were very grateful to Khrunichev and our very friendly host.
02 Sep 2008