September 23, 2021

Antares/Orb-3 launch timeline


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Follow the key events of the Antares rocket’s ascent into orbit from launch pad 0A at Wallops Island, Va., carrying a Cygnus supply ship with cargo for the International Space Station.

T+0:00:00: Main Engine Ignition

The Antares rocket's two AJ26 engines ignite on the launch pad.
The Antares rocket’s two AJ26 engines ignite on the launch pad.

T+0:00:02.1: Liftoff

The Antares rocket lifts off from launch pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.
Producing about 730,000 pounds of thrust, the rocket’s two main engines propel the 139-foot-tall Antares rocket into the sky.

T+0:03:54: Main Engine Cutoff

After consuming its supply of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants, the Antares first stage shuts down at an altitude of about 62 miles.
After consuming its supply of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants, the Antares first stage shuts down at an altitude of about 62 miles.

T+0:04:00: Stage Separation

The first stage separates from the second stage, which begins a 34-second coast phase.
The first stage separates from the second stage, which begins a 41-second coast phase.

T+0:04:29: Fairing Jettison

After flying out of the dense lower atmosphere, the Antares rocket jettisons its clamshell-like 12.8-foot-diameter payload fairing.
After flying out of the dense lower atmosphere, the Antares rocket jettisons its clamshell-like 12.8-foot-diameter payload fairing.

T+0:04:34: Interstage Jettison

The interstage adapter connecting the first and second stages is jettisoned.
The interstage adapter connecting the first and second stages is jettisoned.

T+0:04:41: Second Stage Ignition

The rocket's solid-fueled Castor 30XL second stage ignites at an altitude of 87 miles, ramping up to a maximum power of 120,000 pounds of thrust during a 166-second burn.
The rocket’s solid-fueled Castor 30XL second stage ignites at an altitude of 87 miles, ramping up to a maximum power of 120,000 pounds of thrust during a 166-second burn.

T+0:07:27: Second Stage Burnout

The Castor 30XL second stage burns out after reaching a target orbit with a perigee of 128 miles, an apogee of 183 miles, and an inclination of 51.64 degrees.
The Castor 30XL second stage burns out after reaching a target orbit with a perigee of 128 miles, an apogee of 183 miles, and an inclination of 51.64 degrees.

T+0:09:27: Cygnus Separation

The Antares rocket's second stage deploys the Cygnus spacecraft in orbit.
The Antares rocket’s second stage deploys the Cygnus spacecraft in orbit.

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