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The Mission




Rocket: Atlas 5 (AV-013)
Payload: STP 1
Date: March 8, 2007
Window: 9:37-11:42 p.m. EST (0237-0442 GMT)
Site: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Broadcast: Galaxy 26 (formerly IA6), Transponder 11, C-band, 93° West

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Launch events timeline

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Atlas/STP 1 launch timeline
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: March 5, 2007

T-0:00:02.7 Engine Start
The Russian-designed RD-180 main engine is ignited and undergoes checkout prior to launch.
T+0:00:01.1 Liftoff
The Atlas 5 vehicle, designated AV-013, lifts off and begins a vertical rise away from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
T+0:04:04.4 Main Engine Cutoff
The RD-180 main engine completes its firing after consuming the kerosene and liquid oxygen fuel supply in the Atlas first stage.
T+0:04:10.4 Stage Separation
The Common Core Booster first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket separates from the Centaur upper stage. Over the next few seconds, the Centaur engine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen systems are readied for ignition.
T+0:04:20.4 Centaur Ignition 1
The Centaur RL10 engine ignites for the longest of the night's three upper stage firings. This burn will inject the Centaur stage and spacecraft into the mission's initial Earth orbit.
T+0:04:28.4 Nose Cone Jettison
The payload fairing that protected the spacecraft during launch is separated once heating levels drop to predetermined limits.
T+0:14:23.2 Centaur Cutoff 1
The Centaur engine shuts down after arriving in the planned 306-mile circular orbit inclined 46 degrees to the equator.
T+0:18:02.2 Orbital Express Release
The Orbital Express in-space refueling demonstration mission payload consisting of the combined ASTRO and NextSat spacecraft separates from atop the rocket.
T+0:22:17.2 MidSTAR 1 Release
The U.S. Naval Academy's Midshipman Space Technology Applications Research Satellite (MidSTAR 1) is separated from the payload adapter ring on the rocket.
T+0:33:07.0 Centaur Ignition 2
The Centaur re-ignites for a two-step process to reach an entirely different orbit for deploying the other three satellite payloads.
T+0:34:29.2 Centaur Cutoff 2
At the conclusion of its second firing, the Centaur will have entered a so-called "fast transfer orbit" sequence to travel from the initial satellite deployment orbit to the orbit for release of the second batch of payloads. The intermediate orbit will have a low point of 247 miles, a high point of 2,135 miles and inclination of 44 degrees.
T+0:46:27.1 Centaur Ignition 3
After briefly coasting in the highly elliptical fast transfer orbit, Centaur ignites again to reach the desired orbit for release of the three remaining satellites.
T+0:48:19.1 Centaur Cutoff 3
The upper stage rocket motor completes its third burn -- the most ever for an Atlas 5 mission -- to enter a circular orbit 348 miles high with an inclination of 35.4 degrees.
T+0:56:07.1 STPSat 1 Release
The Space Test Program's STPSat 1 spacecraft is deployed from the payload adapter ring on the rocket.
T+1:01:40.1 CFESat Release
The Los Alamos National Laboratory's CFESat is deployed from the payload adapter ring on the rocket.
T+1:05:38.1 FalconSat 3 Release
The U.S. Air Force Academy's FalconSat 3 is deployed from the payload adapter ring on the rocket, completing this Atlas 5 rocket launch.

Data source: United Launch Alliance.

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