EchoStar XV Mission Success

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the EchoStar XV satellite built by Space Systems/ Loral. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 11:53 p.m. EDT, or 03:53 UTC, 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff. Everything occurred as planned with ignition, shutdown and separation of the Proton’s first three stages. Then the Breeze M upper stage with the satellite continued the mission, igniting five times, and then releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

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EchoStar XV Third and Fourth Burn

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd and 4th burn, 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 11:33 p.m. EDT, or 03:33 GMT. Separation of the EchoStar XV spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 13 minutes.

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EchoStar XV Second Burn Completion

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the EchoStar XV satellite, we have received confirmation that the 2nd burn of the upper stage occurred and shut down as scheduled. The next events are scheduled for about 2 hours from now. The Breeze M upper stage will ignite for a 3rd time and burn for approximately 13 minutes; after that the additional propellant tank will be jettisoned. All this will happen while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the fourth burn is complete.

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EchoStar XV Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 11 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the EchoStar XV 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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US Flag Day in Baikonur

Although we are far away from home and in the middle of standalone operations, the team took some time to celebrate US Flag Day. Of course we had the typical holiday fairs a BBQ of hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition, SS/L sponsored the first 2010 Baikonur Golf Contest from the “world famous” Fili Resort and Country Club. The winner of this event was SS/Ls own Cam Opinia with a ball resting about a club’s length away from the hole. Last year’s winner, Keith Marco, will be arriving in a couple of weeks. Perhaps he will have a chance to redeem his championship later during this campaign. This charity event provided a generous contribution to the hotel staff for their endless dedication to ensuring that our BBQ’s are properly catered.

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Baikonur Arrival

The EchoStar XV launch campaign did not have a traditional start. Usually the teams meet in Moscow and travel to Baikonur together, but not this time. The SS/L and EchoStar teams came in from California, KhSC came from Moscow, and the ILS Team was already in Baikonur waiting for their arrival (this team launched the last rocket). A couple of days after that, the Antonov arrived with the EchoStar XV SC. Needless to say, when we finally got together for the first time to “break bread”, a good time was had by all!

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Welcome to the EchoStar XV Blog

Welcome to the fifth ILS Proton launch campaign for 2010 – the launch of the Space Systems/Loral-built, EchoStar XV satellite for EchoStar and DISH Network. Follow along with the mission team as they prepare for the launch.

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Baikonur City Beach

Leave it to a California team to find beach front property in Baikonur! Since the temperature here is getting “warm,” the SS/L team went to town looking for some relief from the heat. They found it in a small cafe called Laguna on the bank of the Syr Darya River which is on Baikonur’s East Beach. From the patio, they watched the kids swimming in a stone pool, boats trolling the river and a herd of wild horses grazing on the far shore… what a find! [url=http://www.ilslaunch.com/echostar-xv-gallery]Check out the Photos![/url] There are already plans to go back on SC fueling days!

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