On the night of 11 January, the SC in its container made its way on the train from the airport to the processing facility, referred to as 92A- 50. The main room of this building, known as Hall 101, is absolutely huge – more than large enough to accommodate all the train cars containing the SC and support equipment with room to spare for a soccer game if so inclined! The SC container was offloaded, placed on the floor of the hall, and all the associated equipment was placed in the areas needed to support the unpacking and testing of the SC. The SC is well protected within the container, so we left it there overnight. Early the next morning, the riggers came in and started the process of removing the SC from its container. This entails removing the lid, rotating the SC from horizontal to vertical, and using the crane to life it off its supports. The SC was moved to a portable dolly and rolled into Hall 103A – its home for the next 17 days. The Orbital Sciences team then got busy testing the Intelsat-16 SC in what is known as stand-alone operations. This is the time in the beginning of the launch campaign when the SC contractor work alone to test and verify that the SC is healthy, load propellants and configure the SC for launch. After all these steps are done and the SC is completely ready to go for launch, we start “joint operations” where the SC is integrated with the Proton LV. Right now, Orbital’s specialists are in the process of verifying that the SC is completely healthy before we proceed to the next step: a “touch and go” fitcheck.
01 Feb 2010