June 23, 2017

Timeline of Soyuz launch with SES 15

Follow the key events of the Soyuz rocket’s ascent into orbit from the Guiana Space Center with the SES 15 communications satellite. A listing of exact times for the flight’s major events is posted below.

Data 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.
The five main engines of the Soyuz rocket’s core stage and four strap-on boosters are at full thrust.

T+0:00:00: Liftoff

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.
Producing more than 900,000 pounds of thrust, the Soyuz ST-A (Soyuz 2-1a) 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.
The Soyuz rocket’s four strap-on boosters, each powered by an RD-107A engine, are jettisoned after consuming their propellant.

T+0:03:39: 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.
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+0:04:47: 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.
Having burned its propellant, the core stage of the Soyuz rocket, also known as the second stage, separates and the third stage’s RD-0110 engine ignites to continue the flight.

T+0:08:49: Soyuz/Fregat Separation

The Soyuz rocket’s third stage releases the Fregat-M upper stage just shy of orbital velocity.

T+0:09:49: First Fregat Ignition

The hydrazine-fueled Fregat upper stage ignites to place the SES 15 satellite into a preliminary elliptical transfer orbit.

T+0:23:34: First Fregat Shutdown

After a 13-minute, 45-second burn, the Fregat upper stage shuts down to begin a 4-hour, 34-minute coast phase.

T+4:57:35: Second Fregat Ignition

The Fregat main engine ignites again for a 52-second burn to put the SES 15 satellite into the correct deployment orbit.

T+4:58:27: Second Fregat Shutdown

The Fregat main engine shuts down after reaching a sub-geostationary transfer orbit with a low point of 1,367 miles (2,200 kilometers, a high point of 19,449 miles (31,300 kilometers) and an inclination of 6 degrees.

T+5:18:28: SES 15 Separation

The SES 15 communications satellite deploys from the Fregat upper stage.

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