Launch Timeline
Posted: September 19, 2001

T+00:00 Liftoff
The first stage Castor 120 solid rocket motor is ignited and the Taurus rocket launches from pad 576E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
T+01:23.0 Staging
After burning its solid-fuel propellant, the first stage is separated to fall into the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, the Orion 50S solid rocket motor second stage is ignited. All this will occur at altitude of 22.8 miles.
T+02:48.0 Second stage jettison
Having completed its firing at T+plus 2:42.9, the second stage separates from the rest of the Taurus rocket at a planned altitude of 86 miles. The spent stage falls into the Pacific Ocean.
T+02:50.1 Third stage ignition
The Orion 50 solid rocket motor third stage ignites to continue the climb to orbit. This will occur 88 miles up and 180 miles downrange from the launch site.
T+02:56.1 Jettison payload fairing
The payload fairing nose cone that protected the spacecraft during the atmospheric ascent opens like a clam shell and falls away from the rocket at an altitude of 93.5 miles.
T+04:10.7 Third stage burnout
The Taurus rocket's third stage ends its burn after consuming all the solid-fuel propellant at an altitude of 149.5 miles. A ballistic coast period now begins as the rocket heads toward the apogee of its final orbit.
T+08:33.7 Third stage separation
The spent third stage is separated from the Taurus rocket's upper stage at an altitude of 250.9 miles. The stage impacts in the South Pacific Ocean.
T+08:44.8 Fourth stage ignition
The Taurus rocket's upper stage, an Orion 38 solid rocket motor, ignites at 252.8 miles up to complete the powered flight for this launch, basically raising the perigee to achieve a circular orbit.
T+09:58.3 Fourth stage burnout
The fourth stage completes its firing after consuming all of its solid-fuel propellant at an altitude of 257.5 miles, injecting the stage and attached payloads into the desired orbit around Earth.
T+11:53.3 OrbView-4 separation
ORBIMAGE's Orbview-4 commercial Earth-imaging satellite is released into space from the rocket's upper stage.
T+12:58.3 Adapter jettison
The dual-payload adapter system used to hold Orbview-4 atop QuikTOMS during launch is separated.
T+14:28.3 QuikTOMS separation
NASA's Quick Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer spacecraft, or QuikTOMS, is deployed from the rocket's upper stage, completing the sixth flight of Taurus.

Data source: Orbital Sciences.

Flight data file
Vehicle: Taurus (Model 2110)
Payloads: OrbView-4 and QuikTOMS
Launch date: Sept. 21, 2001
Launch window: 1849-1907 GMT (2:49-3:07 p.m. EDT
Launch site: SLC-576E, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Satellite broadcast: GE-2, Trans. 11, Ku-band

Pre-launch briefing
Ground track - See the trajectory the rocket will follow during its flight.

Taurus vehicle data - Overview of the rocket to be used in this launch.

OrbView-4 - Fact sheet on the commercial Earth-imaging satellite.

QuikTOMS - Learn more about NASA's newest ozone monitor.