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Vega launch timeline
Posted: February 3, 2012

This graphic shows the sequence of events during Vega's first launch. Credit: ESA
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T-00:00:00 First Stage Ignition
The Vega rocket's first stage P80 solid rocket motor ignites and powers the 98-foot-tall booster off the launch pad 0.3 seconds later. The P80 first stage motor generates a maximum of 683,000 pounds of thrust.
T+00:00:30.7 Mach 1
The Vega rocket surpasses the speed of sound.
T+00:00:53 Maximum Dynamic Pressure
Flying at an altitude of more than 40,000 feet, the rocket passes through the phase of maximum aerodynamic pressure.
T+00:01:54.8 First Stage Separation
Having consumed its 194,000 pounds of solid propellant, the 9.8-foot-diameter P80 first stage motor is jettisoned at an altitude of 37 miles.
T+00:01:55.6 Second Stage Ignition
The Vega rocket's Zefiro 23 second stage motor fires to begin an 87-second burn.
T+00:03:22.3 Second Stage Separation
The Zefiro 23 motor burns out and jettisons at an altitude of 79 miles.
T+00:03:38.5 Third Stage Ignition
Moving at a velocity of 8,500 mph, the Vega rocket's third stage Zefiro 9 motor ignites for a 129-second firing.
T+00:03:43.5 Fairing Jettison
The Vega's 8.5-foot-diameter payload fairing is released as the rocket ascends into the upper atmosphere more than 85 miles high.
T+00:05:47.1 Third Stage Separation
The Zefiro 9 third stage shuts down and separates, having accelerated the rocket to nearly orbital velocity.
T+00:05:54.1 First AVUM Ignition
The Vega rocket's Attitude and Vernier Module, or fourth stage, ignites for the first time. The AVUM burns hydrazine fuel with an RD-869 engine provided by Yuzhnoye of Ukraine.
T+00:08:45 First AVUM Shutdown
The Vega's AVUM fourth stage is turned off after a 3-minute burn, beginning a nearly 40-minute coast until the engine is ignited again. The first AVUM burn places the rocket and its payloads in a parking orbit.
T+00:48:07.3 Second AVUM Ignition
After coasting to an altitude of 900 miles, the AVUM fires a second time to circularize its orbit.
T+00:52:10.5 Second AVUM Shutdown
The AVUM engine shuts down after reaching a circular 900-mile-high orbit (1,450 kilometers) with an inclination of approximately 70 degrees.
T+00:55:05.5 LARES Separation
The Laser Relativity Satellite, or LARES, is deployed from the Vega rocket's AVUM upper stage.
T+01:06:10.5 Third AVUM Ignition
The AVUM fires a third time to lower the perigee of its orbit to 217 miles, or 350 kilometers.
T+01:10:34.3 Third AVUM Shutdown
The Vega rocket's AVUM liquid-fueled fourth stage shuts down for the final time of the mission. The AVUM is designed for up to five burns.
T+01:10:35.3 ALMASat 1/CubeSat Separation
Italy's ALMASat 1 remote sensing technology demonstration satellite and seven small CubeSat payloads begin separating from the Vega upper stage.

Data source: ESA