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CryoSat 2 launch timeline
Posted: April 8, 2010

T-08:00:00 Countdown Begins
The countdown for CryoSat 2's launch begins eight hours before liftoff.
T-06:00:00 Spacecraft Switch-on
CryoSat 2 is turned on about six hours before launch to begin comprehensive health checks to verify the spacecraft is ready for flight.
T-02:00:00 A-Team On Console
The primary CryoSat control team, called the A-Team, arrives on console at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.
T-01:40:00 Launch Mode
CryoSat 2 is put in launch mode.
T-00:50:00 Internal Power
The payload is transitioned to internal power 50 minutes before launch.
T-00:15:00 Start Automated Sequence
The Dnepr rocket's automatic launch sequence begins 15 minutes before launch.
T-00:02:56 Press Start Button
The "Start" button is pressed inside the Dnepr launch control center.
T-00:00:00 Go Inertial
The Dnepr's guidance system is locked into inertial mode when clocks reach zero.
T+00:00:04 First Stage Ignition
After a black powder charge pushes the Dnepr rocket out of an underground silo, the launcher's first stage RD-264 engine ignites to begin the flight.
T+00:01:50 Jettison First Stage
The first stage separates from the Dnepr second stage, another unmodified component from the SS-18 ballistic missile.
T+00:05:09 Jettison Payload Fairing
The shroud surrounding the CryoSat 2 satellite during the early portions of the launch is jettisoned about five minutes into the flight.
T+05:54 Jettison Second Stage
The Dnepr rocket's second and third stage separate. The third stage will next ignite and turn 180 degrees to be positioned in front of CryoSat 2 to drag the payload the final leg to orbit.
T+00:16:28 CryoSat 2 Separation
The CryoSat 2 spacecraft is deployed from the Dnepr third stage.
T+00:17:00 AOS Malindi
A few seconds after CryoSat 2's S-band transmitter is turned on, the satellite's radio signal should be detected by a ground station in Malindi, Kenya.

Data source: ESA