After the analysis and production activities have been completed and the spacecraft arrives at the Baikonur airport, the launch campaign begins.

The following outlines the key events in a typical launch campaign (L = Liftoff):

L-5 weeks: Launch campaign activities begin at the Cosmodrome; Spacecraft arrives at the Cosmodrome; Customer begins spacecraft preparation activities in Starsem's PPF

L-22 days: Filling of spacecraft begins

L-18 days: Preparation and assembly of lower three stages of launch vehicle begins

L-16 days: Combined operations begins in UCIF. These activities mate the spacecraft to the adapter and Fregat upper stage, followed by encapsulation with the fairing

L-5 days: Upper composite (spacecraft + adapter + Fregat + fairing) is transferred to assembly facility near launch pad where it is mated to the lower three stages of the launch vehicle

L-4 days: The Transfer Readiness Review ensures the Soyuz and its payload are ready for final launch pad activity and launch

L-3 days: The completed launch vehicle is transferred to the pad and erected in the vertical position; Check out and countdown rehearsal for the lower 3 stages of the vehicle takes place

L-2 days: Countdown rehearsal for the customer's spacecraft and the Fregat upper stage

L-8 hours: Final countdown begins; Systems checks on Soyuz begin

L-5 hours: Systems checks begin on Fregat upper stage

L-4 h20m: Launch vehicle filling authorization review

L-4 hours: Launch vehicle fueling begins

L-30 minutes: Removal of service platform

L-2m35s: Pressurization of propellant tanks

L-45 seconds: Transfer to on-board power supply

L-20 seconds: Ignition of booster and core engines at intermediate thrust level

L-0: Liftoff! On the way to a successful mission

Download the "A typical Starsem launch campaign" document (Acrobat pdf)