Dawn's Mission Begins

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Dawn's Mission Begins
09.20.07
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GEORGE DILLER: Thirteen, twelve, green status board. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, main engine start, one, zero and liftoff of the Delta II rocket with Dawn, using ion propulsion to reach the catalysts of our solar system.

MARK LAVIGNE: Coming up on T+25 seconds. The vehicle has worked its way nicely at the transience of liftoff. Coming up on Machs – correction, Mach 1. We've exceeded the speed of sound, and coming up on Max Q. The vehicle is now three miles altitude, downrange distance 12 miles, with a velocity of over 1,600 miles per hour.

DILLER: Listening to telemetry manager Mark Lavigne.

LAVIGNE: Both verniers and the main engine chamber pressure still looking good. Reaching solid motor burnout, the first six motors.

And burnout confirmed. Jettison, solid motor jettison. And we've ignited the air-start motors.

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