The Orbital Unit

Upon completion of mating the spacecraft and payload adapter with the Breeze M, the assembled BADR-5 Orbital Unit was tilted horizontally in preparation for encapsulation by Khrunichev technicians. An excited crowd of technicians and customers gathered to watch the tilting event which takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Once lowered to its horizontal position, the two payload fairing halves are then secured around the spacecraft. This is the final opportunity to view this spacecraft before it achieves its final destination.

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SC Fueling Days

SC fueling days are very busy days for the Astrium UK Propellant Team. However, because they do such a good job, it can be dull for the rest of us. In an effort to pass the time, the Russians challenged the French team to a football (soccer) match. There was a large crowd cheering on both teams, but the star was Goosha the camel. Goosha returned from his winter home just in time to watch the match, although he was mum about whom he wanted to win. In the end, the French defeated the Russians 4 to 2. There is already a request for a rematch!

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Food and Friends

Team Astrium graciously hosted an after-work dinner for the entire campaign crew. Using a family recipe, handed down through generations, the Astrium team members guided the competent Russian chefs in the creation and preparation of Daube, a delectable beef stew. Nearly 100 persons dined and chatted away the evening on what was a glorious night at the Cosmodrome.

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BADR-5 Main Team and SC Arrival

With the Main Team arrival, our ranks have gone from 18 to 46 people. After a short 12 hours of preliminary safety briefings, greeting old friends and introductions of future friends, we went out to the airport to watch the arrival of the spacecraft. It was close to a perfect day for an offload; sunny with some clouds, a light wind and a temperature of about 80 degrees. It’s hard to believe that we needed jackets just a few days ago for the EGSE arrival. It is always an amazing sight to see the Antonov aircraft in action and today was no different. While watching the offload of the spacecraft it appears that the Antonov may have been the original prototype for the “Transformers”. For those of you who have not seen an Antonov, check out the movie 2012. It is the plane that takes the hero to China.

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BADR-5 Early Team and EGSE Arrival

The BADR-5 Early Team finally arrived in Baikonur. We are getting settled in and ready for our June launch. The next day, the unpacking started with Astrium’s EGSE (Electrical Ground Support Equipment) which arrived via an Iluyshin aircraft. It was the first time several of us had seen an Iluyshin. Despite being cool and windy, the offload went smoothly.

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Welcome to the BADR-5 Blog

Welcome to the fourth ILS Proton launch campaign for 2010 the launch of the BADR-5 satellite for EADS Astrium, ARABSAT and Thales Alenia Space. Follow along with the mission team as they prepare for the launch.

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For the latest news and information, or if you have a question, please email ILS at contactus@ilslaunch.com