Spaceflight Now: Pegasus Launch Report

HETE 2 launch timeline
Posted: October 8, 2000

T+00:00.0 Drop
The Pegasus rocket is released from the Orbital Carrier Aircraft at an altitude of 39,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, about 60 miles southwest of the Kwajalein Atoll.
T+00:05 Ignition
The first stage solid-fueled motor of Pegasus is ignited to begin the powered journey to orbit with HETE 2.
T+01:21 Stage 1 Burnout
The first stage motor consumes all of its solid-fuel propellant and burns out. A short ballistic coast period begins now.
T+01:30 Stage 1 and 2 Separation
The spent first stage motor is jettisoned to prepare for the second stage of flight. The first stage casing falls into the Pacific Ocean.
T+01:31 Stage 2 Ignition
The Pegasus rocket's second stage begins firing to continue the trip to orbit.
T+02:10 Jettison Payload Fairing
The payload fairing that protected the HETE 2 satellite during atmospheric ascent is separated once heating levels drop to predetermined limits.
T+02:49 Stage 2 Burnout
Having burned its supply of solid-fuel propellant, the second stage motor stops firing. A lengthy coast period, determined by the onboard computer, now begins before releasing the spent stage.
T+08:58 Stage 2 and 3 Separation
With its job complete, the Pegasus rocket's second stage is jettisoned from the third stage.
T+09:09 Stage 3 Ignition
The solid-fueled third stage ignites to deliver the HETE 2 spacecraft into the desired orbit around Earth.
T+10:16 Stage 3 Burnout
The third stage burns out after using all its solid propellant, completing the powered phase of launch.
T+11:16 Spacecraft Separation
NASA's High-Energy Transient Explorer 2 satellite is released into space from the third stage to complete the Pegasus rocket's 30th launch.

Data source: NASA

Flight data file
Vehicle: Hybrid Pegasus
Payload: HETE 2
Launch date: Oct. 9, 2000
Launch time: 0545 GMT (1:45 a.m. EDT)
Staging site: Kwajalein Missile Range

Pre-launch briefing
Mission preview - Our story describing the launch of the HETE 2 satellite.

HETE 2 - Description of NASA satellite to search of gamma ray burst.