Jason/TIMED launch timeline
Updated: December 5, 2001

T-0:00:00.0 Liftoff
The Delta 2 rocket's main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.
T+01:04.0 Ground SRM Burnout
The six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.
T+01:05.5 Air-Lit SRM Ignition
The three remaining Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage are ignited.
T+0:01:26.0 Jettison Ground SRMs
The six spent ground-lit solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean, with three coming off at T+plus 86 seconds and three at T+plus 87 seconds. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset safety downrange drop zone.
T+02:11.5 Jettison Air-Lit SRMs
Having burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Pacific Ocean.
T+0:04:23.5 Main Engine Cutoff
After consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.
T+0:04:31.5 Stage Separation
The Delta rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.
T+0:04:37.0 Second Stage Ignition
With the stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ10-118K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to boost the upper stage and Jason 1 and TIMED spacecraft into the proper orbit.
T+0:04:41.0 Jettison Nose Cone
The 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing that protected the Jason 1 and TIMED satellites atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.
T+0:10:04.9 Second Stage Cutoff 1
The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The vehicle should be in a highly elliptical orbit. The rocket and attached Jason 1 and TIMED spacecraft now begin a 41-minute coast period before the second stage reignites.
T+0:51:25.0 Second Stage Restart
Delta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise and circularize the orbital altitude for the Jason 1 payload. The restart happens at a planned altitude of 723.7 miles.
T+0:51:49.4 Second Stage Cutoff 2
The second stage shuts down after reaching an orbit of 712.6 by 718.5 nautical miles inclined 66.04 degrees.
T+0:55:20.0 Jason 1 Separation
The French/U.S. Jason 1 ocean-observing satellite is deployed into space from the Delta 2 rocket.
T+0:59:40.0 Separate DPAF
The upper cone and cylinder of the Dual Payload Attach Fitting structure is jettisoned from the rocket. Jason 1 was mounted atop DPAF and TIMED is enclosed within the structure's cylinder.
T+1:06:22.1 Second Stage Restart
Delta's second stage engine restarts yet again to change the orbital altitude and inclination for the TIMED satellite.
T+1:07:04.3 Second Stage Cutoff 3
The second stage shuts down after a 42-second burst, and should have achieved the desired 343.2 by 718.1 nautical mile orbit inclined 71.32 degrees for the TIMED satellite.
T+1:58:53.6 Second Stage Restart
The second stage engine reignites to complete the two-step trek to reach the proper orbit for the TIMED satellite.
T+1:59:16.5 Second Stage Cutoff 4
The second stage shuts down after a 23-second burst, and should have achieved the desired 338.4 by 345.7 nautical mile orbit inclined 74.09 degrees for the TIMED satellite.
T+2:05:00.0 TIMED Separation
The Boeing Delta 2 rocket deploys the TIMED atmospheric research spacecraft into orbit for NASA to complete the 289th flight of a Delta vehicle.

Data source: Boeing.

Flight Data File
Vehicle: Delta 2 (7920-10C)
Payload: Jason 1 & TIMED
Launch date: Dec. 7, 2001
Launch window: 1458-1518 GMT (9:58-10:18 a.m. EST)
Launch site: SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

Pre-launch briefing
Orbit trace - Maps showing the ground track for the launch.

Delta 2 rocket - Overview of the Delta 2 7920-model rocket used in this launch.

Jason 1 - The French/U.S. ocean-observing satellite.

TIMED - The U.S. atmospheric research spacecraft.

SLC-2W - The launch pad where Delta rockets fly from Vandenberg.

Delta directory - See our coverage of preview Delta rocket flights.