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Minotaur launch timeline
Posted: July 8, 2010

T-00:00 Liftoff
The first stage, a Peacekeeper SR118 solid rocket motor, ignites to begin the Minotaur 4 rocket's mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
T+00:38.1 Max Q
Aerodynamic pressure on the vehicle reaches its peak as the Minotaur 4 accelerates through the lower atmosphere at an altitude of 6.7 miles.
T+00:57.9 Stage 1 Sep./Stage 2 Ignition
At an altitude of 15 miles and 14 miles downrange, the rocket's first stage exhausts its supply of solid fuel and separates. The second stage's Peacekeeper SR119 motor ignites to continue the flight toward space.
T+01:57.4 Stage 2 Burnout
After a 60-second burn, the Minotaur rocket's second stage burns out at an altitude of 55 miles and downrange distance of 95 miles.
T+02:12.4 Stage 2 Sep./Stage 3 Ignition
The spent second stage separates and the Peacekeeper SR120 third stage ignites at an altitude of 66 miles.
T+02:36.4 Fairing Jettison
The 92-inch payload fairing that protected the satellite during the ride through the lower atmosphere is jettisoned as the rocket ascends into space at an altitude of 83 miles.
T+03:27.0 Stage 3 Burnout
The third stage completes its burn and the Minotaur 4 enters a coast period lasting more than eight minutes, during which time the vehicle's soar on its ballistic trajectory from 119 miles to 332 miles.
T+11:34.6 Stage 4 Ignition
The Minotaur's third stage is jettisoned and the commercial Orion 38 solid rocket motor is ignited to complete the job of delivering the payload into orbit.
T+12:41.2 Stage 4 Burnout
The fourth stage uses up its propellant and burns out as it enters the targeted circular injection orbit at an altitude of 336 miles and an orbital inclination of 98.0 degrees.
T+14:40.9 SBSS Separation
The Air Force's Space Base Space Surveillance satellite is deployed from the Minotaur 4 rocket's fourth stage while traveling 336 miles in altitude and over 3,100 miles downrange from Vandenberg.

Data source: Orbital Sciences Corp.