Separations Wrap Up ‘Picture Perfect’ MMS Launch

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NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission began with a brilliant liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Launch was right on time at the first opportunity at 10:44 p.m. EDT and came on the heels of a smooth countdown.

“The countdown today went very well,” NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez said. “We really worked absolutely no launch vehicle or spacecraft issues, the range was green and the flight was nominal. Picture perfect.”

“This evening unfolded essentially perfectly for us,” MMS Project Manager Craig Tooley said of the countdown and flight. He reported all four spacecraft appear healthy following separation.

“It appears all four are where they need to be,” Baez said. “You can’t ask for anything more.”

With that we’ll conclude live launch coverage. Thank you for joining us! For the latest news on the MMS mission, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mms.

Centaur Second Main Engine Cutoff

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The Centaur’s work is nearly complete. During this period the Centaur will be made as stable as possible to prepare for spacecraft separation.

Spacecraft separation begins in about 14 minutes with the release of MMS-4. Every five minutes, another spacecraft will be released, with MMS-1 the last to leave at 1 hour, 47 minutes into the flight.

One More Launch Photo

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Liftoff of the Atlas V carrying the MMS spacecraft

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft onboard launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Thursday, March 12, 2015, Florida. NASA’s MMS mission studies the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy via a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical spacecraft that work together to provide the first three-dimensional view of this fundamental process, which occurs throughout the universe. Photo Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

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