Systems Engineering Seminar

Experiences Working at the Baikonur Cosmodrome

Presented by:
Douglas K. Manuel, Lockheed Martin Mission Services

July 1, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium


Experiences Working at the Baikonur Cosmodrome

Living and working on Russian launch sites, presents some interesting perspectives. This presentation will contrast the differences, and more often than not similarities, in the Russian approach to satellite processing and launch operations. I will describe how one gets to Baikonur, the processing/launch facilities and what it is like to live and work with a people once viewed with great trepidation (from the Soviet Era).

The narration will be reinforced with photographs, many of which have never been presented to the public. The audience will come away with a unique insight of not only Baikonur, but of the new symbiotic working relationship among diverse nations.



Douglas Manuel joined Lockheed Martin in 1985 as an Aeronautical Engineer and holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is currently serving as a Senior Staff Systems Engineer in HST SM4 Systems Engineering for Lockheed Martin Mission Services. Over the years he has held positions as a Mission Controller in the Blue Cube (Sunnyvale CA – DoD), Space Shuttle Launch Controller (Pad Leader, Tank & Booster Test Conductor-TBC, Orbiter Test Conductor-OTC), Team Supervisor (New Mexico/Colorado - Classified Satellite Operations) and Launch Operations Manager (Lockheed Martin International Launch Services – McLean VA). Of his eight years with International Launch Services, almost two years were spent in Russia and Kazakhstan, during which time he managed the launch integration of 8 commercial satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Additionally, as part of the Angara rocket development team, he spent time at Plesetsk (Russia’s highly secret missile site), the most prolific launch base in the world.

Photo of Doug Manuel with Buran Photo of Doug Manuel with AMC-9













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