The white tower and fairing over Orion fired its motors to pull away from Orion as planned. Operational missions carrying astronauts will use fully active versions of the LAS capable of firing quickly to pull the spacecraft and crew away from an emergency during ascent.
Four panels that provided structural support through the early phases of launch have been jettisoned since they are no longer needed.
The RL-10B engine on the second stage is burning as planned to take over for the spent first stage. The engine will burn for 11 minutes, 50 seconds to place Orion in its initial orbit.
The core stages to the left and right on the rocket burned through their propellants in less than four minutes and have fallen away. A single core stage is now powering Orion toward space. The second stage will take over in 93 seconds.
The Delta IV Heavy and Orion are supersonic and gaining speed and altitude as they zoom toward orbit.
The Delta IV and Orion enter the area of maximum dynamic pressure – max q – when the aerodynamic forces of launch are at their greatest. All systems remain go.
The Delta IV Heavy with Orion on its nose streaked past the service tower as swing arms connected to the rocket swiveled backward out of its way.
The Orion spacecraft is heading into orbit on the brilliant fire and power of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket!
Second stage tanks are the last to be secured at flight levels and pressure. The first stage engines will ignite at T-4.5 seconds and build up pressure before liftoff. Standby for launch!
The countdown resumed on time for liftoff at 7:05 a.m. EST.