GOCE timeline for 16 March 2009

Launch tower
13 March 2009

Timeline of the most significant events during countdown, launch and the early orbit phase for GOCE. Liftoff is scheduled for 15:21 CET on Monday, 16 March 2009, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

All times subject to change

Abbreviations

CET: Central European Time
MT: Moscow time
MCC-P: Mission Control Centre - Plesetsk
OCC: ESOC Operations Control Centre
L-Xh: X-hours before launch time
AOS: Acquisition of signal

CET MT Event Elapsed time
09:21 11:21 State Commission approves initiation of countdown L-6h
-- -- Activation of launcher gyro motor heating L-3h
14:41 16:41 ESOC Operations Control Centre reports readiness to MCC; ESA Project Manager confirms Agency ready to go, GO/NOGO switch set at MCC-Plesetsk L-40 min
14:51 16:51 Start of automatic sequence for launcher L-30 min
15:17 17:17 End Mobile Service Tower removal --
15:18 17:18 Latest launch abort possible by spacecraft (start of irreversible launch process) L-3 min
15:21:03 17:21:03 Mission start time - End of gyro setting 00:00:00
15:21:14 17:21:14 Main engine ignition 00:00:11
15:21:17 17:21:17 Liftoff contact (LOC) 00:00:14
15:23:19 17:23:19 Separation 1st/2nd stage 00:02:16
15:24:07 17:24:07 Jettison of payload fairing 00:03:04
15:24:22 17:24:22 First possible acquisition of signal via Svalbard station (nominal even if no receipt) --
15:26:01 17:26:01 2nd stage cut-off 00:04:58
15:26:22 17:26:12 Separation 2nd/3rd stage 00:05:19
15:26:28 17:26:28 First ignition of Breeze Upper Stage 00:05:25
15:28:23 17:28:23 Loss of radio visibility 00:07:20
15:35:35 17:35:35 End of first burn of Breeze Upper Stage 00:14:32
-- -- Coasting --
16:39:27 18:39:27 Second ignition of Breeze Upper Stage 01:18:24
16:39:40 18:39:40 Breeze cut-off 01:18:37
16:50:43 18:50:43 Enter of radio visibility zone (Shelkovo GS) --
16:51:35 18:51:35 GOCE separation command, issued by the on-board Upper Stage control system 01:29:40
16:51:57 18:51:57 GOCE acquisition of signal (AOS) via ESTRACK Kiruna station 01:30:32
16:53:00 18:53:00 Confirmation of separation by ESOC OCC (time approximate) --

All times subject to change

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