Thursday, September 27, 2007

A new DAWN

After many delays, including at one stage actually being cancelled, the DAWN mission is sitting on the launch pad at the Cape. The mobile service tower has been rolled away from the Delta II, and launch is scheduled for 07:20 EDT (12:20 BST). It's actually looking like the mission is going to go this time, and you can follow the launch live on NASA TV.


Update: The launch is on hold, as the range is reported not to be clear. The Coast Guard is attempting to contact a ship which has strayed into the harzard zone, the region where the solid rocket boosters may fall back into the ocean.


Update: The ship has cleared the hazard zone, and the launch will come out of hold at 07:30 EDT, for a scheduled launch at 07:34 EDT.

Update: Lift-off...


Update: At T + 1 minute 23 seconds we have the initial solid rocket booster separation of the first six boosters, and ignition of remain three boosters.


Update: At T + 11 minutes the spacecraft has successfully achieved its planned parking orbit with an apogee of 100.6 miles, perigee of 99.99 miles and inclination of 28.6 degrees.

Update: At T + 12 minutes the spacecraft has gone out of range of the Antigua tracking station. The next communications will come when it approaches the west coast of Australia.


Update: At T + 61 minutes 58 seconds the DAWN spacecraft has successfully separated from the Delta 2 third stage.