UPDATE

An update from our friends at Khrunichev!! The SC fueling was successfully completed yesterday by the EADS Astrium team in Hall 103A. Now the spacecraft is ready for transportation into Hall 101, where the joint operations will begin tomorrow. The Breeze M high pressure tanks were also fuelled earlier; afterwards, the Breeze M was transported into Hall 101. More information from our launch team, soon!

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A-OK

After taking a break to visit and take photos in Baikonur town and at the Yuri Gagarin space museum (see [url=http://www.ilslaunch.com/inmarsat-4-f3-gallery]Gallery[/url]), the mission team is back to work. So far everything is running smoothly. Both the launch vehicle team and the spacecraft team continued their separate operations and test protocols. The spacecraft Xenon loading was completed on the 18th . Oxidizer and fuel loading is planned for this week. The Proton team will be moving the payload fairing to a stand in anticipation of joint operations and mating with the spacecraft. Keep checking back for more updates.

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Photo Blog!

Well, the launch team is a little busy. So, they sent some photos because pictures can say a thousand words! [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/data/020-Keryn-Blog.jpg[/img] The team stopped by the Gargarin Museum and caught a glimpse of the display ILS sponsored! [img]http://www.ilslaunch.com/assets/Images/data/021-Ben-Blog.jpg[/img] Then they decided to check out the Buran, Russia’s space shuttle!

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The Photo Gallery is Up!

The Inmarsat-4 F3 Photo Gallery is up. In addition to photos being placed within the blogs, most photos will be placed in the gallery. So, please check it out at http://www.ilslaunch.com/inmarsat-4-f3-gallery

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Reflections from a first timer in Baikonur

On the 5th, after completing a full day’s work, we moved on to the Proton Club auditorium where our campaign security manager presented the safety and security briefing. Following the briefing, we headed back to the Fili Hotel for a belated Independence Day BBQ. It was a fantastic way to bring all the launch campaign personnel together so that we could get to know the other people that will help make this launch a success. In short, it was a great team-building exercise! From a newbie’s perspective, it was great to have more quality time with people. At work everyone is concentrating on the jobs at hand and there is little time for chatter. This BBQ was a great way to see other sides of people and to get to know them on a more personal level and to find out how they got into the space industry. Even with the different languages being spoken, we all managed to come away with new friends and better understanding of each other. *~* On the 6th, the SC landed at Yublieiny Airfield. I just wanted to finally be able to see what the SC looks like and if it’s really as big as I have been told. I was in no way, shape or form let down. *~* Oh and about the spacecraft… Electrical and propulsion testing have already started. Photos soon…promise

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What a Weekend

The ILS launch team has settled in at Baikonur. Team members report that they celebrated Independence Day by reading Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence on the way to Yubileiny Airport at 0800 to offload the satellite test equipment, and then working until 1830. They had a picnic the following day to commemorate the holiday. Meanwhile, the spacecraft has landed! Early Sunday morning the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite arrived at Yubileiny Airport aboard an AN-124-100 Ruslan aircraft owned by Russia’s Polyet cargo airlines. The satellite was taken to Building 92A-50 for assembly and testing. Everything else is going up to par, as well. Pictures soon, as well as some first-hand reports from the launch team…

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Welcome to the Inmarsat-4 F3 Blog

Welcome to the third ILS Proton launch campaign for 2008 – the launch of the EADS Astrium-built Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite for Inmarsat of London. Follow along with the launch team as they prepare for the mid-August mission.

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