Mars Odyssey launch timeline
First daily launch opportunity
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Updated: April 5, 2001

T-00:00.0 Liftoff
The Delta 2 rocket's main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.
T+01:03.1 Ground SRM Burnout
The six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.
T+01:05.5 Air-Lit SRM Ignition
The three remaining Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage are ignited.
T+01:06 Jettison Ground SRMs
The six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three at T+66 and T+67 seconds to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
T+02:11.5 Jettison Air-Lit SRMs
Having burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.
T+04:23.4 Main Engine Cutoff
After consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.
T+04:31.4 Stage Separation
The Delta rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
T+04:36.9 Second Stage Ignition
With the stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to boost the upper stage and Mars Odyssey into the proper orbit.
T+04:42.0 Jettison Payload Fairing
The 9.5-foot diameter composite payload fairing that protected the Mars Odyssey satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.
T+10:03.7 Second Stage Cutoff 1
The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached Mars Odyssey spacecraft are now in a 12-minute coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 100 by 107 nautical miles, inclined 51.9 deg.
T+22:24.0 Second Stage Restart
Delta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise one side of the orbit.
T+23:15.4 Second Stage Cutoff 2
The second stage shuts down after a 51-second burst in an orbit of 98.3 by 973.9 nautical miles inclined 51.9 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.
T+24:08.4 Stage Separation
The liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket having completed its role in the launch.
T+24:08.4 Third Stage Ignition
The Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to propel Mars Odyssey away from Earth. A nutation control system featuring a thruster on an arm mounted on the side of the stage will be used to maintain stability during the burn.
T+26:13.1 Third Stage Burnout
Having used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence. In about four-and-a-half minutes, two small yo-yo-like structures are released from the third stage to reduce the spinning motion the Delta rocket and Mars Odyssey are experiencing in preparation for satellite separation.
T+31:00.4 Spacecraft Separation
NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft is deployed from the Delta 2 rocket to begin its six-month interplanetary cruise to the Red Planet.

Data source: Boeing.

Flight Data File
Vehicle: Delta 2 (7925)
Payload: 2001 Mars Odyssey
Launch date: April 7, 2001
Launch times: 11:02 a.m. EDT or 11:32 a.m. EDT
Launch site: SLC-17A, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Pre-launch briefing
Launch windows - See the daily launch times available for Mars Odyssey to lift off over the 20-day planetary alignment.

Launch timeline No. 2 - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch second daily opportunity is used.

Ground track - Trace the Delta rocket's trek during launch.

Restricted zone - Map outlining the Launch Hazard Area where mariners should remain clear for the liftoff.

Delta 2 rocket - Overview of the Delta 2 7925-model rocket used to launch Mars Odyssey.

2001 Mars Odyssey - Technical look at the spacecraft and its systems.

Mission science - Overview of the scientific objectives of Mars Odyssey.

Delta directory - See our coverage of preview Delta rocket flights.

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