Follow the key events of the Soyuz rocket’s ascent into orbit from the Guiana Space Center with two satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system. A listing of exact times for the flight’s major events is posted below.
Date source: Arianespace
T-0:00:03: Engines at Full Thrust
The five main engines of the Soyuz rocket’s core stage and four strap-on boosters are at full thrust.
Producing more than 900,000 pounds of thrust, the Soyuz ST-B (Soyuz 2-1b) rocket soars into the sky from the Guiana Space Center.
T+0:01:58: Jettison Boosters
The Soyuz rocket’s four strap-on boosters, each powered by an RD-107A engine, are jettisoned after consuming their propellant.
T+0:03:29: Jettison Fairing
The ST-type payload fairing is released from the Soyuz rocket when it reaches the edge of the upper atmosphere. The 13.5-foot-diameter fairing protects the payload during the launch countdown and the flight through the dense lower atmosphere.
T+0:04:48: Core Stage Separation
Having burned its propellant, the core stage of the Soyuz rocket, also known as the second stage, separates and the third stage’s RD-0124 engine ignites to continue the flight.
T+0:09:24: Soyuz/Fregat Separation
The Soyuz rocket’s third stage releases the Fregat-MT upper stage just shy of orbital velocity.
T+0:10:24: First Fregat Ignition
The hydrazine-fueled Fregat upper stage ignites to place the Galileo satellites in an elliptical transfer orbit.
T+0:23:32: First Fregat Shutdown
After a 13-minute, 8-second burn, the Fregat upper stage shuts down to begin a 3-hour, 15-minute coast phase.
T+3:38:35: Second Fregat Ignition
The Fregat main engine ignites to circularize its orbit before deployment of the two Galileo satellites.
T+3:42:57: Second Fregat Shutdown
The Fregat main engine shuts down after a 4-minute, 22-second burn to inject the Galileo satellites into a circular orbit at an altitude 23,522 kilometers (14,615 miles) and an inclination of 55.04 degrees.
T+3:47:57: Galileo Separation
The two Galileo navigation satellites deploy from a dispenser on the Fregat upper stage.
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