Update 2: I replaced the SD photos with the respective HD versions.
Update 1: See the mission details and more photos in my STS-130 Space Shuttle Endeavour post.
The milestones of STS-130 Space Shuttle Endeavour launch (reverse order):
~ 04:23:52 GMT @ T+09:45 – Nominal MECO, OMS-1 not required. With a direct insertion ascent, the main engines are burned slightly longer to achieve the desired apogee altitude, such that an OMS-1 maneuver (which would supply the additional thrust needed to reach orbit) is not required.
– 04:22:40 GMT @ T+08:33 – External Tank (ET) separation.
The External Tank (ET) separates from the orbiter after the Main Engine Cut-Off (MECO) - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:22:39 GMT @ T+08:32 – Zero Thrust.
– 04:22:30 GMT @ T+08:23 – Main Engine Cut-off (MECO). Endeavour has reach the planned orbit and is schedule to dock with the International Space Station on Flight Day 3.
– 04:21:49 GMT @ T+07:42 – Negative Istres.
– 04:21:28 GMT @ T+07:21 – Negative Moron.
– 04:21:15 GMT @ T+07:08 – Single Engine Press. Endeavour can reach the planned orbit on a single SSME should two of the engines fail.
– 04:20:47 GMT @ T+06:40 – Nominal Shutdown, Go for the plus X, Go for the pitch maneuver. After the External Tank (ET) separation (SEP) the orbiter’s Reaction Control System (RCS) will execute a negative Z (in the direction up through the roof) translation maneuver to move the orbiter away from the ET. The “go for the pitch” refers to the ET Photo maneuver, which is a pitch around of the orbiter that allows the crew to take pictures of the tank out of the overhead windows.
– 04:20:21 GMT @ T+06:14 – Press to MECO and Single Engine Zaragoza 104 – Endeavour can now reach planned orbit in case of a single SSME failure and the Zaragoza TAL site on a single engine at 104.5% throttle.
– 04:19:37 GMT @ T+05:30 – Single Engine OPS-3 – Endeavour could now reach the designated TAL site with a single engine at Full Power Level (FPL), i.e 109% throttle, should two of the SSME‘s fail (the OPS-3 software mode will be used for re-entry) – Prior to this point, the loss of two engines requires contingency abort procedures and OPS 6 software.
– 04:19:18 GMT @ T+05:11 – Press to ATO select Zaragoza – Endeavour could now reach a safe orbit (circular / 194.5 km) with two Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) throttled at Typical Mission Power Level (104.5%) in case of a single SSME failure. Should one of the engines fail the crew could execute the Abort To Orbit (ATO) maneuver (in case of TAL abort, the landing facility in Zaragoza would be used).
– 04:17:59 GMT @ T+03:52 – Negative Return – Endeavour has used too much fuel and is traveling too fast (7,795 km/h), too high (96 km) and is too far (200 km) to return to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for a potential Return To Launch Site (RTLS) abort.
– 04:17:01 GMT @ T+02:54 – 2 engine Istres. Endeavour can now reach the Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site in Istres in the case of a single engine failure.
– 04:16:50 GMT @ T+02:43 – 2 engine Zaragoza. Endeavour can now reach the TAL site in Zaragoza in the case of a single engine failure.
– 04:16:45 GMT @ T+02:38 – 2 engine Moron. Endeavour can now reach the TAL site in Moron in the case of a single engine failure.
– 04:16:22 GMT @ T+02:15 – Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) assist.
– 04:16:12 GMT @ T+02:05 – Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) separation. Endeavour is at the altitude of 47.18 km, 44.57 km down range from the KSC, traveling at 4 794.4 km/h (Mach 4).
Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) separation - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:15:04 GMT @ T+00:54 –Throttle up back to 104.5% engine power level.
– 04:14:56 GMT @ T+00:49 – Max-Q (the point of the greatest dynamic pressure).
– 04:14:50 GMT @ T+00:43 – Mach 1.
– 04:14:46 GMT @ T+00:39 – Throttle down from 104.5% to 72.0% engine power level at Mach 0.9.
Endeavour's engines are throttling down as the orbiter passes through the area of maximum pressure on the vehicle - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:14:26 GMT @ T+00:19 – Roll maneuver finished.
– 04:14:17 GMT @ T+00:10 – Start the roll program.
– 04:14:07 GMT @ T-00:00 – Lift-off. Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) ignition and lift-off of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-130 (ISS assembly flight 20A) mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Lift-off of Space Shuttle Endeavour from Launch Pad 39A - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:14:00 GMT @ T-00:06.6 (and 06.48, 06.36) – The three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) start.
The Space Shuttle Main Engines ignite - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:13:58 GMT @ T-00:09 – The hydrogen burn-off system begins to eliminate free hydrogen exhausted into the main engine nozzles during the start sequence to prevent small, but potentially dangerous, explosions when the main engines ignite.
The hydrogen burn-off system is activated - Credit: NASA TV
– 04:13:52 GMT @ T-00:15 – The Sound Suppression Water System has been activated to protect Endeavour and the launch pad from acoustical energy and rocket exhaust reflected from the flame trench and Mobile Launcher Platform during launch.
– 04:13:36 GMT @ T-00:31 – Auto-sequence start. Endeavour’s on-board computers have primary control of all vehicle’s critical functions.
– 04:05:07 GMT: The countdown clock resumes at T-9min and counting.
– Shuttle Endeavour’s hatch has been closed and latched for flight, the six STS-130 astronauts are strapped into their seats.
– The countdown clock resumes at T-3hr and counting.
– The STS-130 crew leaves the crew quarters at the Operations and Checkout Building and board the Astrovan to head to the Pad 39A.
The STS-130 crew shortly before boarding the Astrovan - Credit: Jen Scheer
– Final inspection team is on the pad looking for ice & frost buildup on the External Tank.
– 02:54 GMT: The shuttle tanking went into a stable replenish and the countdown entered a 2.5 hour long inbuilt hold at T-3 hours.
– The liquid hydrogen tanking has reached 98% and will transition from fast-full to top-off at 2700 l per minute.
– Liquid oxygen tanking changes to fast-fill mode at almost 6,000 l per minute. Liquid hydrogen is also in fast-fill phase adding almost 32,000 liters every minute into the external tank (ET).
– Launch teams began liquid oxygen tanking in the slow-fill phase adding 1,200 liters every minute.
– 23:50 (Feb. 07) GMT: Fueling of the External Tank began with liquid hydrogen (at 20K) started in the slow-fill mode. Liquid oxygen (at 90.188 K) will follow at 00:20 GMT.