# What are the historical fastest and longest time between take off and orbit insertion?

The question is restricted to payloads having described at least 2 orbits.

When watching launches, it appears that between launch and orbit insertion, the typical time interval is few minutes (perhaps between 8 and 30 minutes depending on the launcher). I imagine minimizing the time inside the atmosphere is important (while constraint by acceleration the payload can sustain and the time to perform the gravity turn).

If we define the launch time as... the launch time (beginning of launcher take off, before clearing the tower) and we consider the payload is in orbit as soon as it is released (end of launcher mission, possibly several seconds after reaching orbital velocity), what is the historical maximal time interval between launch and orbit? What is the minimal one?

• Possibly sputnik for fastest. "Telemetry indicated that the strap-ons separated 116 seconds into the flight and the core stage engine shutdown 295.4 seconds into the flight." The final orbit was reached in 295.4 seconds. But I don't know if you're counting that (mostly because I don't fully know what you mean by "having described at least 2 orbits"). Jul 23, 2019 at 13:10
• @MagicOctopusUrn: "described 2 orbits" - orbited Earth at least twice. Gagarin wouldn't count because he completed only 1 orbit. Personally I'd put my money on one of the mini-launchers like Lambda 4s - or depending how you count the launch time, ATK Pegasus. Huge TWR, short time to reach circularization altitude.
– SF.
Jul 23, 2019 at 14:38
• If you have a better formulation, don't hesitate to edit the question (and yes my intention was to exclude payload that didn't stay into orbit for more than one orbit, such as Gagarin) Jul 23, 2019 at 14:52
• Jul 23, 2019 at 15:26
• @MagicOctopusUrn "to trace or mark out; to give rise to a geometric structure" -- but "completed" is probably better for this Q. Jul 23, 2019 at 15:29