Headlines > News > LIVE COVERAGE: Delta 2 Mars Phoenix Launch (updated 10:50 GMT)

LIVE COVERAGE: Delta 2 Mars Phoenix Launch (updated 10:50 GMT)

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Aug 4, 2007 7:32 am
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6:50 EDT (10:50 GMT): Jettison of the third stage. The Mars Phoenix lander is now on its way to Mars.

6:45 EDT (10:45 GMT): The third stage is burnt out.

6:43 EDT (10:43 GMT): The second stage is jettisioned and the third stage is ignited.

6:42 EDT (10:42 GMT): Second stage cut-off.

6:40 EDT (10:40 GMT): The second stage is restarted and will burn for about 150 seconds.

5:35 EDT (9:35 GMT): Engine cut-off of the second stage. The second stage with the spacecraft and the third stage now enters a cruise phase to orient them for a proper insertion for the Mars transfer. This cruise phase will last for about 64 minutes.

5:31 EDT (9:31 GMT): The fairing is jettisioned.

5:30 EDT (9:30 GMT): The second stage ignited.

5:30 EDT (9:30 GMT): Main engine cut-off (MECO) of the first stage and stage seperation.

5:28 EDT (9:28 GMT): The air-lit SRBs are burnt-out and jettisioned.

5:27 EDT (9:27 GMT): The burnt-out SRBs are jettisioned in groups of three.

5:27 EDT (9:27 GMT): The six solid rocket booster that were fired at lift-off are depleted. The three remaining SRBs are ignited.

5:26 EDT (9:26 GMT): We reached Max-Q, maximum dynamic pressure.

5:26 EDT (9:26 GMT): Lift-off of the Delta 2 carrying the Mars Phoenix lander to its journey to Mars.

5:25 EDT (9:25 GMT): One minute until the launch. All is go for launch.

5:24 EDT (9:24 GMT): T-2 minutes and counting. The tanks are now completely filled and under flight pressure.

5:12 EDT (9:12 GMT): T-4 minutes and holding. This last built-in hold will last 10 minutes and allows the range safety devices to be enabled and the launch vehicle switched to internal power.

5:02 EDT (9:02 GMT): T-15 and counting. Everything looks good so far.

4:42 EDT (8:42 GMT): T-15 minutes and holding. This built-in hold will last for 20 minutes. The rocket for today is a Delta 2 in its 7925 configuration with 9 solid rocket boosters. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch complex LC 17-A.
The weather looks good so far, only a 10% risk of having bad weather of launch.

4:30 EDT (8:30 GMT): We are about one hour away from the night launch of the Delta 2 carrying the Mars Phoenix Lander scheduled for 5:26 EDT (9:26 GMT). The clock shows T-26 minutes and is counting.

The complement of the Phoenix spacecraft and its scientific instruments are ideally suited to uncover clues to the geologic history and biological potential of the Martian arctic. Phoenix will be the first mission to return data from either polar region providing an important contribution to the overall Mars science strategy “Follow the Water” and will be instrumental in achieving the four science goals of NASA’s long-term Mars Exploration Program.

–Determine whether Life ever arose on Mars
–Characterize the Climate of Mars
–Characterize the Geology of Mars
–Prepare for Human Exploration The Phoenix Mission has two bold objectives to support these goals, which are to (1) study the history of water in the Martian arctic and (2) search for evidence of a habitable zone and assess the biological potential of the ice-soil boundary.

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