A video showing the deployment of the Pegasus Rocket with the
observatory from the Orbital L1011.
- The rocket is dropped from the L1011 and is in unpowered, guided
flight for 5 sec.
- The first stage lights and burns for 72 sec, then coasts for 17 sec.
The rocket is at 71km prior to lighting of the second stage.
- The second stage lights and burns for 73 sec, then coasts for 37 sec.
The fairing separates at 131 sec. The rocket is at 600km prior to the
firing of the third stage.
- Third stage burns for 69 sec placing the observatory in orbit at
- Once the payload is at 660km, the third stage and payload separate,
at 786 seconds and the third stage carries out maneuvers to clear the
- The observatory then deploys the solar arrays, acquires the sun, and
begins a 30 day on-orbit checkout and commissioning phase. After a 21
day outgassing and checkout period, the front door is opened and
checkout of the optical systems started. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space
Flight Center/Conceptural Image Lab