Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pluto bound!

We have liftoff!
Launch! NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and its Atlas 5 rocket have launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the first mission to Pluto.

Liftoff took place at 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT).

About one minute and 33 seconds after liftoff, the booster's five strap-on rockets are expected to separate, followed by jettison of the protective fairing shrouding New Horizons about three minutes and 23 seconds into the flight. It should take the Atlas 5-New Horizons combo about four minutes to reach space and separate from its first stage.

The first of two planned burns of the Centaur upper stage is planned for four minutes and 43 seconds after launch.

Fingers still crossed. Too many things can go wrong. But, yes, it's up!

Now Playing: The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

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