Goodbyes and a Barbeque

The spacecraft and adapter have been mated to the Breeze M, the payload fairing has encapsulated the orbital unit (spacecraft, adapter and upper stage), the logos have been signed and the resulting ascent unit (AU) has been transported by train from Hall 101 to Hall 111. As this is written, the AU is being mated to the remaining three stages of the launch vehicle. The combined unit (the integrated launch vehicle or ILV) will go through final electrical tests and then, at the end of the week, will be transported to the Breeze M fueling area for fueling this weekend. As well as waving farewell to the AU from Hall 101, we have also said ‘farewell’ to the SS / Loral mechanical and propulsion teams. In true Baikonur fashion, we had a barbeque to send them off and to celebrate Labor Day.


Avocados and Fuel Loading

It has been an exciting weekend at the launch base. We were rewarded with the arrival of the avocados, brought in from Moscow by a team member a half an hour before we started serving. As well as recognizing our wonderful support staff, “Mexican Night” was also a celebration of the birthdays of three of our Pinkerton staff members and ILS’s own Mission Manager. The food was wonderful; thank you to everyone who helped cook! The weekend continued with the first day of spacecraft prop load. Which was completed by mid-afternoon on Sunday. Monday was used to change the configuration from oxidizer to fuel loading, which commenced today. With today being the second day of spacecraft fueling, we are coming to the end of standalone operations. As of today, the first day of September, the spacecraft is fully fueled, the Breeze M has made its long trek to area 31 for high pressure tank fueling, and our colleagues needed for combined operations arrive today in preparation for the beginning of combined operations on Friday. We will be welcoming the new arrivals and celebrating the end of fueling operations with yet another barbeque.



After our barbeque on Thursday welcoming everyone to launch base, the weekend has been very quiet while spacecraft standalone operations continue. The propulsion team arrived on Friday, meaning that things will pick up soon with fueling operations. It could also mean that it is time for another barbeque.


Spacecraft Arrival

The Antonov-124 landed shortly after 11:00 Monday morning carrying the Nimiq 5 spacecraft and other launch supplies. The team dodged raindrops as the spacecraft container was unloaded and safely transferred to the railcar for the journey to the processing facility. The spacecraft arrived in Hall 101 shortly after 9:00 Monday evening, where it was cleaned, offloaded from the railcar and prepped for opening. The container was opened on Tuesday morning and the spacecraft was transferred into Hall 103A, where it will commence with stand alone testing for the next week.


ILS Team Arrival

The Nimiq 5 launch team landed at Yubileiny early Friday afternoon. We were greeted by a very hot day (35°C) and waved to our departing AsiaSat 5 colleagues as they headed to the airplane. Everyone is using the weekend to prepare for the arrival of the Nimiq 5 spacecraft on Monday morning.


Welcome to the Nimiq 5 Blog

Welcome to the fifth ILS Proton launch campaign for 2009 – the launch of the Nimiq 5 satellite for Telesat, built by Space Systems/Loral. Follow along with the launch team as they prepare for the mission.


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