Delta 3 Complete mission coverage: 

Delta 3 launch timeline
Posted: August 21, 2000

T-00:00.0 Liftoff
The Delta 3 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+01:17.1 Ground-lit SRM burnout
The six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out. The three SRMs without thrust-vector control burn out first followed by the three TVC-equipped motors a half-second later.
T+01:19.0 Air-lit SRM ignition
The three remaining Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 3 rocket's first stage are ignited.
T+01:20.5 Jettison ground-lit SRMs
The six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three. The first three are the TVC-equipped ones with steerable nozzles at T+80.5 and the non-TVC motors at T+81.5 seconds to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
T+02:39.5 Jettison air-lit SRMs
Having burned out three seconds earlier, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.
T+03:46.5 Jettison payload fairing
The 4-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the simulated satellite cargo atop the Delta 3 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.
T+04:20.4 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+04:29.0 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+04:42.5 Second stage ignition
With the stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The Pratt & Whitney RL-10B-2 liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and dummy satellite into the intended orbit.
T+13:40.6 Second stage cutoff 1
The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached payload are now in an 8-minute coast period before the second stage reignites.
T+21:55.5 Second stage restart
Delta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to continue the journey to space, boosting the vehicle from a prelimary parking orbit.
T+24:28.8 Second stage cutoff 2
The second stage shuts down having arrived in an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit around Earth.
T+28:34.5 Attitude maneuvers
Tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket are fired to begin maneuvers to achieve the proper spacecraft separation attitude. This will take nearly six minutes to complete.
T+36:02.5 Start spacecraft spin-up
The second stage beginning spinning like a top to prepare for deployment of the dummy payload.
T+36:18.5 Payload separation
The simulated satellite cargo, shaped like spool, is released into space from the Delta 3 rocket's second stage. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 13,719 nautical miles and low point of 100 nautical miles, inclined 27.5 degrees to the equator.

Data source: Boeing.

Flight Data File
Vehicle: Delta 3 (8930)
Payload: DM-F3
Launch date: August 23, 2000
Launch window: 1100-1500 GMT (7:00-11:00 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-17B, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Pre-launch briefing
Mission preview - Read our story for a complete look at the Delta 3's crucial test launch.

Delta 3 rocket - Overview of the Delta 3 8930-model rocket.

Rocket diagram - Illustration shows the various components of the Delta 3.

Payload simulator - Description of the satellite mockup to be launched by Delta 3 and its research mission.

Orbit trace - A map shows the launch track for the mission.

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