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Emily LakdawallaAugust 4, 2007

And now, we wait

Phoenix is away from Florida; its first and second stages appear to have performed absolutely beautifully. Now there is a 1-hour wait -- apparently, the longest in Delta launch history -- before the second firing of the second stage motor. Phoenix is not yet free of Earth; it's in orbit now. It will take another two-minute firing of the second stage motor, and then the burn of the third-stage motor, to take it onward to Mars.

Here's some grainy NASA TV of the launch; I'll have better images to post later...

Seconds before launch for Phoenix

NASA TV

Seconds before launch for Phoenix
Phoenix launch

NASA TV

Phoenix launch
Here's a neat shot, showing the last three solid rockets in the act of being jettisoned.
Phoenix launch

NASA TV

Phoenix launch
And here's a photo of the pad, now empty. Now they can get Dawn restacked on the adjacent pad!
Empty pad

NASA TV

Empty pad

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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