Thursday, February 18, 2010

Centaur First Main Engine Start

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:28:21 AM EST

The Atlas V booster has completed its burn and separated from the Centaur upper stage. The Centaur main engine is burning now at 22,300 pounds of thrust; it will propel the SDO spacecraft through the rest of its flight into space. At the top of the rocket, the payload fairing has opened and fallen free, exposing the spacecraft to the space environment. The flight is going very smoothly.