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Plesetsk: Launch Team Start Assembling Rockot Launcher on Launch Pad. / May 31, 2010 /

Preparations remain on schedule for launch of Rockot launch vehicle with SERVIS-2 spacecraft. Today assembling the Rockot launcher on launch pad started.

The day before the launch team completed final checkouts of the upper composite ( or ascent unit, the SERVIS-2/adapter/ Breeze KM upper stage stack ), and installed thermal blanket on the UC. Then the upper composite was loaded onto a transport platform.

At around 6.00 a.m. today the platform carrying the UC was rolled out from the Rockot LV processing facility and moved to the launch pad. Operations to transfer the UC to the launch pad were supported by units from Space Forces. Works to integrate the SERVIS-2/Breeze KM stack onto the booster unit (containing the first and second stages of Rockot) began at 12 a.m. The UC mechanical mating to the booster unit will be completed by the end of the day.

It will be recalled that Rockot is a three stage liquid propellant launcher based on the converted Russian RC-18 (SS-19) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. The launch vehicle comprises of a booster unit and an upper stage, Breeze KM. This booster unit consists of the SS-19 ICBM which provides the first and second stages of the Rockot. Russia’s Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow is the designer and manufacturer of the Rockot launch system and the Breeze KM upper stage.

Upcoming next day, on Friday, is ground cable connection, final checks of RF- links between the spacecraft and spacecraft electrical support equipment. In addition, count-down rehearsal is on schedule for the day, May 28, to test the launcher, launch facilities before the liftoff.

The pre-launch activities on Rockot launch pad will be continued during this weekend. Activities scheduled for Saturday, May 29, includes LV electrical check-outs and launch rehearsal are scheduled for Saturday. Other task which will be performed on that day is connection of filling and pressurizing lines to load the booster unit with components of fuel. The State Commission is expected to hold its meeting at Plesetsk on May 30 to review the booster unit for the loading.

The SERVIS-2 lift-off is set for June 2 and the launch will be conducted by military units of the Russian Space Forces.

The Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer (USEF) of Tokyo, Japan and Eurockot Launch Services GmbH of Bremen, Germany signed a contract for the launch of the SERVIS-2 spacecraft on a Russian Rockot small launch vehicle in 2007.Eurockot Launch Services GmbH is the joint venture of EADS Astrium and Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, Moscow, and provides launch services on a Khrunichev-built Rockot LV to operators of low earth orbit satellites.

SERVIS-2 is an acronym for the second spacecraft in the «Space Environment Reliability Verification Integrated System» programme conducted by USEF under a contract from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The purpose of SERVIS-2 is the verification of commercial off — the — shelf (COTS) parts and technologies in the severe space environment. Eurockot Launch Services had already successfully launched the predecessor of SERVIS-2, the SERVIS-1 spacecraft, in October 2003 from Plesetsk Space port.

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