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The Mission

Rocket: Delta 2 (7920)
Payload: Gravity Probe-B
Date: April 20, 2004
Time: 1657:24 GMT (12:57:24 p.m. EDT)
Site: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Satellite feed: AMC 9, Transponder 9, C-band

Mission Status Center


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Gravity Probe-B video coverage
Posted: April 20, 2004

This collection of movies follows the preparations and launch of NASA's Gravity Probe-B aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The following video clips are available to Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers. Find out how to get your subscription.

Launch day
The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches with NASA's Gravity Probe-B spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. (4min 16sec file)

Umbilicals connecting the Delta rocket to the launch pad yank away as the vehicle lifts off. (175sec file)

Tower view
Liftoff as seen from a camera mounted on the mobile service tower next to the Delta 2 rocket. (26sec file)

Back side
A camera positioned on the back side of the Space Launch Complex-2 West provides this angle of liftoff. (19sec file)

The Gravity Probe-B spacecraft is successfully deployed from the Delta rocket as seen by an onboard video camera. (2min 20sec file)

Post-launch chat
An interview with NASA launch manager Chuck Dovale following the successful deployment of Gravity Probe-B. (2min 20sec file)

First launch attempt
Tower rollback
The mobile service tower is rolled away from the Delta 2 rocket during the first launch attempt for Gravity Probe-B. (1min 33sec file)

Scrub called
Launch of the Delta 2 rocket with Gravity Probe-B is scrubbed with just minutes left in the countdown when time ran out to verify the upper level wind data had been properly loaded into the vehicle. (3min 05sec file)

Rocket pre-flight processing
First stage
The Boeing Delta 2 rocket's first stage is erected on the Space Launch Complex-2 West pad for the Gravity Probe-B mission. (5min 38sec file)

The barrel-shaped interstage that links the Delta 2 rocket's first and second stages is lifted into the launch pad tower. (1min 02sec file)

Second stage
The second stage for the Delta 2 rocket arrives at the launch pad and is hoisted into position atop the interstage. (4min 55sec file)

GP-B pre-flight processing
VAFB arrival
The Gravity Probe-B spacecraft arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base in July to begins its launch campaign. (2min 34sec file)

Workers carefully unload Gravity Probe-B from its transportation trailer. (47sec file)

Moving to workstand
Gravity Probe-B is positioned upright on a workstand to begin testing and final assembly for its long-awaited launch. (4min 27sec file)

GP-B testing
Technicians conduct initial testing on Gravity Probe-B at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (1min 58sec file)

News conferences
Mission preview
Scientists and mission officials preview the Gravity Probe-B project in this pre-flight news briefing from Friday, April 2. (62min 25sec file)

Pre-launch briefing
Officials hold the Gravity Probe-B pre-launch news conference at Vandenberg Air Force Base the day prior to the scheduled liftoff. (24min 46sec file)

Science briefing
Scientists brief reporters on the goals for Gravity Probe-B spacecraft's experiment to test aspects of Einstein's general theory of relativity. (26min 37sec file)