July 23, 2019

Atlas/MMS launch timeline


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.

CAPE CANAVERAL — This is the ascent timeline to be followed by the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in launching NASA’s MMS mission on March 12 at 10:44 p.m. EDT.

T+0:00:00.0    Liftoff
Atlas AV-011 Launch
With the RD-180 main engine running, the twin strap-on solid rocket boosters are lit as the Atlas 5 vehicle lifts off and begins a vertical rise away from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

T+0:01:02.5: Max Q

maxq

The Atlas rocket passes through the region of maximum dynamic pressure during ascent through the lower atmosphere.

T+0:02:18.6    Jettison SRBs

03srb

Having burned out of propellant approximately 45 seconds earlier, the spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.

T+0:04:09.7    Main Engine Cutoff

04beco

The RD-180 main engine completes its firing after consuming its kerosene and liquid oxygen fuel supply in the Atlas first stage.

T+0:04:15.7    Stage Separation

05staging

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+0:04:25.7    Centaur Ignition 1

06mes1

The Centaur RL10 engine ignites for the first of two upper stage firings. This burn will inject the Centaur stage and MMS spacecraft into an initial parking orbit.

T+0:04:33.7    Nose Cone Jettison

07fairing

The payload fairing that protected the MMS spacecraft during launch is separated once heating levels drop to predetermined limits after passage through the atmosphere.

T+0:13:29.0    Centaur Cutoff 1

08meco1

The Centaur engine shuts down after arriving in a planned low-Earth parking orbit. The vehicle enters a 59-minute coast period before arriving at the required location in space for the second burn.

T+1:12:29.8    Centaur Ignition 2

09mes2

A final push by Centaur is ignited to raise the orbit for the MMS spacecraft into a highly elliptical Earth orbit.

T+1:18:11.3    Centaur Cutoff 2

10meco2

The powered phase of flight is concluded as the Centaur reaches the planned orbit of 316 by 37,886 nautical miles and 28.77 degrees inclination.

T+1:32:11.3    MMS-4 Separation

mms4

The first Magnetospheric Multiscale observatories is separated into orbit.

T+1:37:11.3    MMS-3 Separation

mms3

The second Magnetospheric Multiscale observatories is separated into orbit.

T+1:42:11.3    MMS-2 Separation

mms2

The third Magnetospheric Multiscale observatories is separated into orbit.

T+1:47:11.3    MMS-1 Separation

mms1

The fourth Magnetospheric Multiscale observatories is separated into orbit from the Centaur upper stage to complete the launch.


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!