Mars Odyssey launch timeline
Second 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+09:54.2 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 an 11-minute coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 100 by 107 nautical miles, inclined 49.2 deg.
T+21:04.4 Second Stage Restart
Delta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise one side of the orbit.
T+21:56.0 Second Stage Cutoff 2
The second stage shuts down after a 52-second burst. 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+22:49.0 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+23:26.0 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+24:53.7 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+29:41.0 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. 1 - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch first 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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