The sixth ILS launch campaign of 2008 is under way. Two members of the early team set out on the 6th of November from Virginia and met the rest of the team in Moscow to kick off the late fall launch of the Ciel II spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Having all arrived safely in Moscow we met up to share a meal and then settled in for a quick one-night stay.  Our next day started bright and early with our flight to Baikonur.  We arrived on a beautiful day amidst snow flurries, and waved our hellos/goodbyes to members of the outgoing ASTRA 1M team after their successful launch on Wednesday night. After clearing customs and making the short trip to the hotel, we received a warm reception from the Russians welcoming us back for another campaign.  We all settled quickly into our hotel rooms and participated in the safety and security briefing.  The day ended with a hot meal, the renewing of old acquaintances and the introduction of new members of the launch team. The heat has been turned on in Building 92A-50 and we have officially begun the Ciel II launch campaign. Winter woolies have been donned and are being put to good use!

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