Headlines > News > LIVE COVERAGE: Delta II GeoEye-1 Launch (updated 19:50 GMT)

LIVE COVERAGE: Delta II GeoEye-1 Launch (updated 19:50 GMT)

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Sep 6, 2008 4:27 am
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19:50 GMT (3:50 pm EDT): The successful separation of the GeoEye-1 satellite ends this launch mission.

19:45 GMT (3:45 pm EDT): Second stage cut-off.

19:44 GMT (3:44 pm EDT): The second stage is restarted and will burn for about 13 seconds.

19:44 GMT (3:44 pm EDT): The ullage rockets were fired to settle the propellants for the upper stage second ignition.

19:03 GMT (3:03 pm EDT): Engine cut-off of the second stage. The second stage and the satellite now enter a cruise phase. This cruise phase will last about 41 minutes.


18:56 GMT (2:56 pm EDT): The fairing is jettisioned.

18:55 GMT (2:55 pm EDT): The second stage ignited.

18:55 GMT (2:55 pm EDT): Main engine cut-off (MECO) of the first stage and stage separation.

18:53 GMT (2:53 pm EDT): End of the dogleg maneuver.

18:52 GMT (2:52 pm EDT): The launcher now performs a so called dogleg maneuver to increase the inclination for the targeted orbit.

18:52 GMT (2:52 pm EDT): The four solid rocket boosters are depleted and will be jettisioned 20 seconds later due to coastal oil platforms.
The six solid rocket booster that were fired at lift-off are depleted. The three remaining SRBs are ignited.

18:52 GMT (2:52 pm EDT): The Delta rocket reached Max-Q, maximum dynamic pressure.

18:51 GMT (2:51 pm EDT): Lift-off of the Delta II carrying the GeoEye-1 satellite.

18:50 GMT (2:50 pm EDT): One minute until the launch. Everything is go for launch.

18:49 GMT (2:49 pm EDT): T-2 minutes and counting. All tanks are now completely filled and under flight pressure.


18:37 GMT (2:37 pm EDT): 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 as well as the launch targeted for the right launch window.

18:31 GMT (2:31 pm EDT): The fuel tank is now pressurized for flight.

18:26 GMT (2:26 pm EDT): T-15 and counting. Everything looks good so far.


18:06 GMT (2:06 pm EDT): T-15 and holding. This built-in hold will last for 20 minutes and allows the launch team checks of the rocket.
The launch is 45 minutes away, the weather looks ok so far, slow winds from the north.

16:39 GMT (12:39 pm EDT): The fueling of the Delta II’s first stage has begun. This will take about 35 minutes for the fuel and after a short pause the LOX loading will take another 40 minutes.

September 6, 2008

September 5, 2008: The Delta II stands ready on the launch pad SLC-2W in Vandenberg for the launch of the GeoEye-1 satellite tomorrow.

GeoEye-1 is a commercial earth-imaging satellite built by General Dynamics, weighing 1,923 kilograms and will deliver imagery with up to 41 cm resolution. It will be launched into sun-synchronous orbit of 681 kilometers altitude. The total project cost (including the satellite and its camera, financing, launch, launch insurance and the four owned or leased ground stations) to bring the GeoEye-1 satellite into service will be approximately $502 million.

It has an one terabit large recorder and can transfer data with 740 Mbit/second. Publically available for everyone is the Landsat imagery, used for example in NASA’s World Wind. That satellite, launched in 1999, has a resolution of only 15 meters. It won’t take that long until companies like Google will start to use such high resolution imagery then provided by GeoEye-1.

For more information and pictures read our story New Spy in the Sky To Be Launched.

The Delta II used for the launch is the 7420-10 configuration with 4 solid rocket boosters.

The launch window will open for 84 seconds at 18:51 GMT (2:51 pm EDT) on September 6.

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