Sea Launch Project

High Spots

Galaxy-IIIC Launch

In accordance with Sea Launch Company plans, the first launch after almost a yearlong break should have taken place in March 2002. It was planned to launch a direct TV broadcast spacecraft Galaxy-IIIC on the HS-702 bus.
Prior to launch processing operations it was necessary to perform debugging of the nominal control law updated in accordance with control object input changes accumulated by that time and documented discrepancies by the results of four previous launches. The necessity of these activities was determined by a joint decision taken by RSC Energia, Yuzhnoye GKB and KBTM General Designers and concurred by the Sea Launch Company.
RSC Energia personnel required for these activities should have left for Home Port right after New-Year holidays. However, due to spacecraft non-availability the launch date was postponed until the beginning of May and the activities at Home Port were initiated only in the 20s of February.
Besides the debugging of the control law, prior to the beginning of nominal launch processing activities, it was necessary to replace on the Upper Stage (Block DM SL #8L) one of control system devices after its repair at NPTs AP and perform modification of the attitude/ullage control propulsion system relative to thermal shield mounting and OCN cables. At this time a message from the customer came that the spacecraft delivery is delayed. By the end of March Upper Stage modification and repair were complete. The debugging of the nominal control law drew to an end. All Home Port services were brought to readiness. Rocket Segment assemblies and systems passed through nominal tests. The testing of rocket blocks was initiated.


February 23 -
April 17, 2002

Test activities with Block D-SL #8L and Zenit-2S LV #8 aboard ACS. Processing activities with Rocket Segment systems and equipment.

April 11, 2002

Readiness review (SRR) for Rocket-Space complex segment systems and equipment by the start of Galaxy-IIIC SC mission processing activities. Developer (BSS) and Customer (PanAmSat) have announced an additional 5-day delay of SC arrival at Home Port (a total delay made up 12 days). A new date of SC arrival at Home Port is fixed for 22.04.02., a new launch date - for 28.05.02.

April 17 -
April 29, 2002

Further US processing activities are stopped until SC arrival, RSC Energia in the period of forced idle time started doing maintenance work under a special "Personnel Work Schedule". Continuation of testing of Zenit-2S LV #8 aboard ACS, conduct of activities with Upper Stages Block D-SL#9L and #11L.

April 22, 2002

Final Technical Board on the results of CACS PL control law modifications and verification.

April 29, 2002

The Galaxy-IIIC SC is delivered to Home Port. Developer (BSS) and Customer (PanAmSat) have defined a new launch date - 04.06.02.

April 29 -
May 10, 2002

Preparation and implementation of Block D-SL #8 loading with kerosene, nitrogen tetroxide and UDMH, compressed gases.

May 11, 2002

US/LV mating.

May 19, 2002

Transfer of PLU with the Galaxy-IIIC SC to ACS ( 5 days later than the scheduled date due to SC electric test discrepancies ), launch date shift to 09.06.02.

May 20 -
May 26, 2002

A 3 day delay in performing operations on US/PLU mating due to a faulty PLU transport-mating equipment (responsible agency - Boeing). Renewal of US/PLU mating operations, in the final phase Boeing specialists have detected a loss of one of eight metallic gaskets mounted under PLU attach bolts. Visual inspection of US/PLU internal cavities first in the mated state and then after US/PLU demating - the gasket is not detected. By the results of inspection a conclusion is made: with a high probability the lost gasket in US and PLU is absent. Sea Launch Company, BSS and Customer (PanAmSat) have defined a new launch date - 04.06.02.

May 28, 2002

ILV transfer from ACS to LP. Review (MRR) of RSC systems and equipment readiness to go to the launch site. The launch date is shifted to 15.06.02.

May 29, 2002

Activities on ILV "dry" roll-out to the launch pad, critical launch readiness checklist implementation.

May 31 -
June 11, 2002

ACS/LP transit to the launch site. Two integrated rehearsals of pre-launch processing with MCC-Moscow support.

June 13, 2002

Activities of the first launch day: making Rocket Segment systems ready for operations at the launch site, ILV processing.

June 14, 2002

Activities of the second launch day: ILV roll-out to the launch pad, critical launch readiness checklist implementation.

June 15, 2002

Activities of the third launch day: nominal launch readiness checklist, ILV fueling and launch.

June 16, 2002

At 2:39 A.M. Moscow Time (June 15, 2002 at 10:39 P.M. Greenwich Time) is carried out the eighth launch from the Odyssey Launch Platform.

Post-launch operations.


The Galaxy-IIIC spacecraft is placed into the calculated orbit:

Perigee altitude,
Apogee altitude,

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