Spaceflight Now: Pegasus Launch Report

TSX-5 launch timeline
Posted: June 6, 2000

T+00:00.0 Drop
The Pegasus XL rocket is released from the Orbital Carrier Aircraft at an altitude of 39,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, about 60 miles west of Monterey, Calif.
T+00:05.0 Ignition
The first stage solid-fueled motor of Pegasus is ignited to begin the powered journey to orbit with TSX-5.
T+01:15.9 Stage 1 Burnout
The Orion 50S XL first stage motor consumes all of its solid-fuel propellant and burns out. A short ballistic coast period begins now.
T+01:32.6 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+01:33.4 Stage 2 Ignition
The Pegasus rocket's Orion 50 XL second stage begins firing to continue the trip to orbit.
T+02:11.8 Jettison Payload Fairing
The payload fairing that protected the TSX-5 satellite during atmospheric ascent is separated once heating levels drop to predetermined limits.
T+02:47.3 Stage 2 Burnout
Having burned its supply of solid-fuel propellant, the second stage motor stops firing. A lengthy coast period now begins before releasing the spent stage.
T+12:14.2 Stage 2 and 3 Separation
With its job complete, the Pegasus rocket's second stage is jettisoned from the third stage.
T+12:25.3 Stage 3 Ignition
The solid-fueled Orion 38 third stage ignites to deliver the TSX-5 spacecraft into the desired orbit around Earth.
T+13:11.7 Stage 3 Burnout
The third stage burns out after using all its solid propellant, completing the powered phase of launch.
T+14:31.7 Spacecraft Separation
The Tri-Service Experiments Mission-5 satellite is released into space from the third stage to complete the Pegasus rocket's 29th launch.

Data source: U.S. Air Force.

Flight data file
Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Payload: TSX-5
Launch date: June 6, 2000
Launch window: 1257-1355 GMT (8:57-9:55 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: Over Pacific Ocean

Pre-launch briefing
Launch preview - Our story describing the launch and TSX-5 satellite's mission.

Pegasus XL vehicle data - Overview of the rocket that will launch TSX-5 into space.

TSX-5 - Description of the U.S. Air Force satellite to be launched.