November 20, 2019

Delta 4 rocket’s launch timeline with GPS 3 SV02


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.

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket will deliver the U.S. Air Force’s second GPS 3-series navigation satellite into an elliptical transfer orbit nearly two hours after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.

Liftoff is scheduled during a launch window opening at 9:00:30 a.m. EDT (1300:30 GMT) Thursday. The window extends to 9:27 a.m. EDT (1327 GMT).

See our Mission Status Center for live updates on the countdown and flight.

T+00:00:00 — Liftoff

The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket takes off powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine and two solid rocket boosters built by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. The hydrogen-burning main engine ignites at T-minus 5 seconds, following by ignition of the two boosters at T-minus 0, the release of four hold-down bolts and retraction of the launch pad’s three swing arms.

T+00:00:58.5 — Max-Q

Heading northeast from Cape Canaveral on an azimuth of roughly 60 degrees, the Delta 4 surpasses the speed of sound at T+plus 42 seconds, then experiences the most extreme aerodynamic pressures of the mission at T+plus 58.5 seconds.

T+00:01:40.0 — Solid Rocket Motor Separation

The Delta 4’s two GEM-60 solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in two pairs around seven seconds after consuming all their propellant.

T+00:03:55.9 — Booster Engine Cutoff

The Delta 4’s RS-68A main engine shuts down after burning its supply of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

T+00:04:02.4 — Stage Separation

The Delta 4’s Common Booster Core separates from the rocket’s second stage.

T+00:04:16.9 — First Second Stage Ignition

The Delta 4’s second stage Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine ignites and powers up to 24,750 pounds of thrust in the first of its two firings to place the GPS 3 SV02 satellite into a MEO transfer orbit.

T+00:04:26.9 — Payload Fairing Jettison

The Delta 4’s composite bisector fairing jettisons from the rocket once the launcher reaches a safe altitude above the dense lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

T+00:13:33.1 — First Second Stage Engine Shutdown

The second stage’s RL10B-2 engine shuts down after placing the GPS 3 SV02 satellite in a preliminary parking orbit, beginning a 53-minute coast before the engine reignites.

T+01:06:47.3 — Second Stage Engine Restart

The RL10B-2 second stage engine ignites again for a three-and-a-half-minute burn to send the GPS 3 SV02 spacecraft into a higher, elliptical transfer orbit.

T+01:10:14.6 — Second Stage Engine Shutdown

The Delta 4’s second stage engine shuts down after placing the GPS 3 SV02 spacecraft in a transfer orbit ranging between 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) and 12,542 miles (20,185 kilometers) above Earth, with an orbital plane tilted 55 degrees to the equator.

T+01:55:26.6 — GPS 3 SV02 “Magellan” Separation

The Lockheed Martin-built GPS 3 SV02 spacecraft, nicknamed “Magellan,” separates from the Delta 4’s second stage.

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!