|Main Engine Ignition
|The Vulcain engine on the cryogenic main stage is ignited and checked out by computers prior to launch.
|Solid Booster Ignition
|The twin-solid rocket boosters attached to the cryogenic main stage are lit.
|The Ariane 5 rocket lifts off from ELA-3 complex at Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.
|Start Pitch Maneuver
|Following a vertical ascent phase, the rocket begins a 10-second pitch motion to achieve proper positioning for the climb through the atmosphere.
|Start Roll Maneuver
|The Ariane 5 rocket begins a planned roll maneuver to the proper launch trajectory, heading northeast away from South America.
|The solid-fuel rocket boosters have burned their propellant and will be jettisoned to make a parachuted splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. The boosters are later recovered.
|Jettison Payload Fairing
|The payload fairing that protected the XMM spacecraft during launch is separated. For this mission, where the entire launch trajectory is facing the sun, the roll attitude following jettisoning of the fairing was chosen to avoid heating certain sensitive instruments on XMM.
|Main Cryogenic Stage Extinction
|The Vulcain main engine shuts down. At this point, based upon onboard computer commanding of the launch trajectory, the vehicle should have arrived in the planned intermediate orbit.
|Separation of Main Cryogenic Stage
|The spent main cryogenic stage separates to fall back to Earth. Predications indicate the stage to enter off the coast of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
|Storable Propellant Stage Ignition
|The storable propellant stage, the upper stage of Ariane 5, begins firing to deliver XMM into the planned deployment orbit.
|Storable Propellant Stage Shutdown
|After completing its long-duration burn, the storable propellant stage shuts down. The injection orbit for XMM is planned with a perigee altitude of 833.9 km, apogee altitude of 113,990 km and inclination of 40 degrees.
|The X-ray Multi-Mirror observatory is released from the Ariane 5 rocket's storable propellant stage into a highly-elliptical orbit.