Launch Day: Solar Dynamics Observatory

This morning the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the first mission of the Living With A Star program, successfully launched this morning.  It was a beautiful launch, covered on NASA TV and the SDO web site.

SDO's mission is to chronograph the Sun over the life of the probe, making a detailed record of it's variability, so we may understand more about how the Sun works and how it affects the Earth.  SDO runs VxWorks on the flight computer, a radiation-hardened PowerPC RAD750. The science packages are Rad-Hard Coldfire chips running RTEMS.

I managed to come across a blog of a VxWorks developer / space enthusiast who was watching the launch this morning… (reprinted with permission from the original author).


Count is at about t-6:00….

Edit: entering the hold at t-4:00 …

wind looks calm.

Edit: coming out of hold… targeting 10:23 eastcoast

Edit: check offs all go ….

Edit: count resumes in just over one minute…

Edit..: T- 4:00


Edit: First stage separation: complete… running graphics now… (out of camera range)

Edit: Fairing ejected.. flight still nominal

Edit: entered BBQ attitude – 4degree roll to even out solar heating
Edit: Roll completed

edit: 2:00 left in the centaur burn

Edit: coast phase entered.

We are launched!!


Edit: replays are available at NASA-TV link above or here:

(see for copyright info)

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