Planning Meeting

For the first few weeks of the launch campaign, a planning meeting begins each morning promptly at 09:30. Representatives from EchoStar, ILS, SS/L, Khrunichev, Zerkt, DB Salyut, Khrunichev Telecom, ILS Logistics, Pinkerton, SOS International and DTSA support the meeting. The first order of business is the local weather report, followed by Khrunichev’s overview of the status of the Proton launch vehicle, the payload fairing, the payload adapter, the Breeze M, and the launch pad. It’s then SS/L’s turn to report on their preparations of the EchoStar 14 spacecraft, and the meeting wraps up with a review of the processing schedule for the next three days. In addition, any issues or special coordination requests from either SS/L or Khrunichev are discussed and resolved. It’s not all work, though, because the meetings provide opportunities to lightly socialize with our campaign friends and participate in traditional activities such as signing the campaign posters and banners.

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Mate to Breeze M

After a couple of days of fueling it’s time to start the mating process. It takes several different teams to get through the next set of critical activities. So we started with a group meeting to ensure we were all on the same page. The team work paid off because the SC has been mated to the adapter, lifted onto the Breeze M and prepared for the encapsulation in the payload fairing (PLF).

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PLF Signing and PLF Encapsulation

This has been a very busy week for all of us. One of the more “technical” operations that we perform during the campaign is the signing of the payload fairing by the entire launch team. Each of the team members takes a turn climbing up the ladder, putting their personal touches on the fairing logos and then climbing back down the ladder to safety. The biggest decisions are what to write and whom to dedicate the launch to: parents, children and loved ones are named. It’s a great photo opportunity for the team and the last thing we do prior to mating the AU to the launch vehicle.

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EchoStar XIV Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 10 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the EchoStar XIV satellite. The three stages of the Proton vehicle have performed as planned, and it is up to the Breeze M upper stage to complete the mission. The upper stage has begun its first burn, which is scheduled to last around 4 minutes.

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EchoStar XIV Third and Fourth Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd & 4th burns, as well as jettisoning its additional propellant tank. The vehicle is now in a 5-hour coast period, during which we will have nothing to report. The 5th burn is scheduled to start around 11:20 p.m. EST, or 03:20 GMT. Separation of the EchoStar XIV spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 12 minutes.

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Contact Us!

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