A United States Alliance Alliance delta 4-heavy launcher crowned with an upper-stage solid fuel motor will send the NASA Parker Solar Probe on a fast voyage through the inner solar system after launching from Cape Canaveral.
The 71 meter high launch vehicle is launched from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37B launch pad, powered by three Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engines.
The Delta 4-Heavy has flown nine times and is done with three modified first-stage Delta 4 cores bolted together. The entire cryogenic launcher burns a mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
Parker Solar Probe's $ 1.5 billion mission will be the first spacecraft to travel in the solar corona, a flaming plasma zone a few million miles from us. One of the mission's goals is to help scientists find out how the solar wind is heated and accelerated into the solar system, affecting the planets, including our own.
The timeline below is a rough approximation of the timing of the main launch events for Delta 4 ̵
Date Source: ULA
T + 00: 00:00 – Liftoff
T + 00: 03: 57.6 – Jettison Port and Starboard Booster
T + 00: 05: 35.9 – Booster Engine Shutdown
T + 00: 05: 42,4 – First Stage Separation
T + 00 : 05: 55.4 – First Main Engine Launch
T + 00: 06: 05.4 – Jettison payload fairing
T + 00: 10: 37.1 – First Main Shutdown
T + 00:22:25,4 – Second Main Engine Start
T + 00: 36: 38.9 – Second Main Engine Shutdown
T + 0 0: 37: 09.0 – Secondary Stage Separation
T + 00: 37: 29.0 – Third Stage Ignition  The sturdy Star 48BV engine with control nozzles and a vectorable nozzle fires off the Earth at a higher speed for an 89 second combustion to accelerate the Parker Solar Probe to send. Ignition occurs as soon as the Star 48BV kick stage is at least 50 feet from the second stage of Delta 4.
T + 00: 38: 58.0 – Third Stage Burnout T + 00: 43: 18.0 – Parker Solar Probe Separation Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .
T + 00: 38: 58.0 – Third Stage Burnout
T + 00: 43: 18.0 – Parker Solar Probe Separation
Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .