stunning loft

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Stunning Soyuz launch lofts Sentinel 1B.

Europe’s Sentinel 1B Earth observation satellite successfully launched yesterday, April 24, 2016. Liftoff occurred at 5:02pm EDT from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, South America.

Soyuz experienced maximum aerodynamic pressure, or Max-Q, at 48 seconds into the flight, as seen in the fourth gif. Multiple vapor cones are forming around the nose of the vehicle, which are formed when there is a sudden drop in localized air pressure.

Two minutes and 8 seconds after liftoff, the rocket’s four strap-on boosters separated, forming what ground observers term a “Korolev Cross,” from the cross-shaped pattern visible as they fall away. One minute and 10 seconds later, the payload fairing separates, exposing the Sentinel 1B satellite to the environment of space.

At T+4 minutes and 50 seconds, the third stage ignites its engines and the second stage separates. Soyuz uses a ‘hot fire’ engine technique for the third stage, meaning the engines ignite while the second stage is still attached. In the final gif, this is the yellow-orange flash.

After the Sentinel 1B satellite was successfully placed into its proper orbit 23 minutes and 35 seconds after launch, the Fregat upper stage deployed four smaller satellites for France, Belgium, Denmark and Italy.