|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.
|Ground SRM Burnout
|The six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.
|Air-Lit SRM Ignition
|The three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage are ignited.
|Jettison Ground SRMs
|The spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.
|Jettison Air-Lit SRMs
|Having burned out two seconds earlier, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Pacific Ocean.
|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.
|The Delta rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.
|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 place the Aura satellite into the proper orbit.
|Jettison Payload Fairing
|The 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the Aura satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.
|Second Stage Cutoff 1
|The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached Aura spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 373 miles at apogee, 100 miles at perigee and inclined 98.20 degrees.
|Second Stage Restart
|Delta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit's perigee.
|Second Stage Cutoff 2
|The second stage shuts down after a 16-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 372.6 miles at apogee, 364.9 miles at perigee and inclined 98.217 degrees.
|NASA's Aura spacecraft is released from the launch vehicle for its $785 million mission to study the Earth's atmosphere.