A few months ago, I received a call from someone asking if I’d be interested in working as a trilingual interpreter (Russian, Spanish, English) for a launch campaign “in Russia.” The person on the other end of the line didn’t give me many specifics due to the confidentiality of jobs of this nature, but she gave me just enough to pique my interest. I saw this as a sign; there had already been a voice in the back of my head, particularly since interpreting at United Nations Headquarters in February, telling me I needed to leave my job at Apple and return to self-employment.
So that’s what I did.
After leaving Apple in April, I devoted the months of May, June and July to travel — up and down the West Coast of the U.S. to visit friends and family and then through the Balkans, a trip I had been planning for years (more on that later).
Fast-forward to early August when, after a quick jaunt from Germany to Washington, DC, for a Russian business visa, I found myself in Moscow for 24 hours, preparing for my charter flight to Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Interpreting for the Amazonas-5 launch campaign for the past four weeks has been quite an experience. Essentially, I have been supporting anything from morning coordination meetings to an array of processes launching a spacecraft entails. This includes various loading and unloading, testing, and fueling operations involving the launch vehicle, the adapter system, the upper stage and the spacecraft.
Baikonur in Pictures
In and around the Cosmodrome
Baikonur Town and the Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum
At the office
The Amazonas-5 satellite, operated by Hispasat, will be providing telecom to Central and South America.
Here’s some more information on the launch:
- Amazonas 5 Mission
- Satellite arrival
- Launch vehicle arrival
- Pictures on Roscosmos.ru (Russian Space Agency)
- Official pictures on Khrunichev.ru