Joint operations continues right on schedule, as Hall 101 operations continue on full swing. Following the mate of the SC to the Breeze M, all eyes were on the KhSC tilter unit, as the orbital unit was rotated to the horizontal position. This is always an exciting scene as thousands of pounds of flight hardware are moved into a cantilevered position. This is one of the very unique things about a Proton launch vehicle assembly process. The hardware is assembled horizontally.
Following the rotation to horizontal, both Boeing and KhSC performed a variety of electrical verification tests and RF checks. And as the title of this entry states, “when a schedule comes together”, it was no better displayed than on day 1, as testing was completed at 23:49, 11 minutes ahead of schedule.
This positioning of the orbital unit also allows for relatively easy installation of the payload fairing. Installed in two parts, the bottom half is rolled under the assembly and the upper half is lifted over. It also makes access to the fairing logo just a ladder climb away. And with sharpies in hand, smiles on faces and cameras aimed properly, all team members climbed and signed.
After some final closeout operations by KhSC, the assembly was transported to Hall 111 for mating to the rest of the launch vehicle. The assembly was moved out of Hall 101 at 10:00 am on 5 November: RIGHT on schedule. Breeze M fueling is only a few days away.
We have made it to single digits: L – 9 days and counting.