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DART MISSION
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Date: April 15, 2005
Launch Window:
10:25 a.m. PDT



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LAUNCH COVERAGE
Virtual Launch Control Center - DART

All times are in EDT unless otherwise stated.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was deactivated at 1:57 p.m. EDT. Thank you for joining us for the launch of DART.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was activated at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

1:57 p.m. - From The Virtual Launch Control Center our coverage of the DART launch is now concluded.

1:55 p.m - The L-1011 Stargazer has landed back at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

1:52 p.m. - The NASA Launch Manager reports that we have a very successful launch for DART today.

1:41 p.m. - DART has temporarily moved out of communications range. The McMurdo tracking station, located in Antartica, should pick up the signal in about 15 minutes.

Did You Know?
The DART spacecraft depends completely on computers and sensors to perform all of its rendezvous functions.

1:39 p.m. - We are now in the DART Mission phase, which will take place over the next 23 hours.

1:38 p.m. - We have spacecraft separation of DART from Pegasus.

1:36 p.m - The Vehicle is now in orbit and we have stage 3 burnout.

1:34 p.m. - The vehicle has started re-orientation maneuvers for the Stage 3 burn. All systems are functioning normally.

1:32 p.m. - All systems remain nominal. The third stage ignition is calculated to take place at approximately launch plus 8 minutes and 36 seconds.

1:29 p.m. - The protective fairing has separated from the vehicle. Pegasus is now in Stage 2 coast phase.

1:28 p.m. - The flying attitude of the Pegasus is reported nominal or normal.

1:25 p.m. - T-10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1 and launch of the Pegasus rocket with DART, pursuing the limits of automated technology for rendezvous in space.

1:24 p.m. - We are at Launch minus 2 minutes.

1:22 p.m. - The Launch Conductor is polling for the final launch readiness poll. The Team is now ready to proceed with the final checklist.

1:20 p.m. - The flight crew has been informed that the FTS Check is nominal. The range has reported condition green for launch.

1:17 p.m. - NASA Launch Manager has polled the team and the NASA Launch Team is go to enter the terminal countdown.

1:16 p.m. - The Launch window is a go. The plane is now on a straight path to the drop point traveling in a southerly direction.

1:13 p.m. - The Launch Team has conducted a poll for the DART spacecraft to go to internal power. The team is go and the spacecraft is now on internal power.

1:09 p.m. - We are at T-15 minutes and counting. The release mechanism is being armed for launch of the Pegasus rocket.

1:03 p.m. - "P-Turn" in process. The L-1011 begins its Procedure Turn in readiness for the launch of the Pegasus rocket.

12:59 p.m. - A report on turbulence, winds and clouds is being performed. There are no issues at this time. At this time we have passed peak power, which is when the L-1011 heads north under-flying the drop point for the Pegasus rocket.

12:55 p.m. - The Launch Conductor has notified the pilot that the chase plane is going to make a visual inspection of the Pegasus. This is a standard pre-release inspection of the rocket.

12:41 p.m. - We have just passed "P-Climb." P-Climb is the waypoint that defines the climb out segment.

Did You Know?
Past NASA rendezvous and proximity missions include the Gemini and Apollo missions of the 60’s and 70’s up to and including Shuttle missions.

12:30 p.m. - At this time the climb/cruise checklist is being performed and minor adjustments are being made by the pilot of the Stargazer.

12:27 p.m. - The Stargazer L-1011 aircraft carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with the DART spacecraft has taken off.

12:24 p.m. - After a poll, the Launch team is go for takeoff.

12:23 p.m. - The pre-take off checklist is being performed by the Launch team at this time.

12:22 p.m. - The pre-takeoff poll has been performed. The team is a go.

12:15 p.m. - We are green on weather and on the vehicle for launch today.

12:09 p.m. - At this time the L-1011 carrier aircraft has taxied to the runway. The final pre-takeoff preparations are being made.

Did You Know?
DART will be launched to test the technologies developed to be able to independently rendezvous with a satellite.



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