Minotaur I
Minotaur I with NFIRE at MARS
Has useSmall expendable launch system
ManufacturerNorthrop Grumman
Country of originUnited States
Size
Height19.21 metres (63.0 ft)
Diameter1.67 metres (5 ft 6 in)
Mass36,200 kilograms (79,800 lb)
Stages4 or 5
Capacity
Payload to LEO
Mass580 kilograms (1,280 lb)
Payload to SSO
Mass331 kilograms (730 lb)
Associated rockets
Based on
  • LGM-30F Minuteman II Edit this on Wikidata
Launch history
StatusActive
Launch sitesVandenberg SLC-8
MARS LP-0B
Total launches12
Success(es)12
First flight27 January 2000
Last flight15 June 2021
First stage – M55A1
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust935 kilonewtons (210,000 lbf)
PropellantSolid
Second stage – SR19
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust268 kilonewtons (60,000 lbf)
PropellantSolid
Third stage – Orion 50XL
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust118.2 kilonewtons (26,600 lbf)
Burn time74 seconds
PropellantSolid
Fourth stage – Orion 38
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust34.8 kilonewtons (7,800 lbf)
Burn time68 seconds
PropellantSolid

The Minotaur I, or just Minotaur is an American expendable launch system derived from the Minuteman II missile.[1] It is used to launch small satellites for the US Government, and is a member of the Minotaur family of rockets produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation (now Northrop Grumman).[2]

Vehicle

The Minotaur I is the follow-on to the Orbital Sciences' Taurus (later re-named the "Minotaur-C"[3]) launch vehicle, combining the original Taurus's booster stage with a second stage from a Minuteman missile.[citation needed]

Minotaur I rockets consist of the M55A1 first stage and SR19 second stage of a decommissioned Minuteman missile.[1] The Orion 50XL and Orion 38, from the Pegasus rocket, are used as third and fourth stages. A HAPS (Hydrazine Auxiliary Propulsion System) upper stage can also be flown if greater precision is needed, or the rocket needs to be able to manoeuvre to deploy multiple payloads.[4] It can place up to 580 kilograms (1,280 lb) of payload into a 185-kilometer (115 mi) low Earth orbit at 28.5 degrees of inclination.[1]

The Minotaur I is 69 feet tall and 5 feet wide.[5]

Initially Minotaur I launches are conducted from Space Launch Complex 8 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Starting with the launch of TacSat-2 in December 2006, launches have also been conducted from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.[4]

Launch history

There have been twelve launches of the Minotaur I, all successful.

Flight Date (UTC) Payload Launch pad Trajectory Result
1 January 27, 2000
03:03:06
JAWSat (P98-1) (FalconSat1 / ASUSat1 / OCSE / OPAL) Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[6]
2 July 19, 2000
20:09:00
MightySat II.1 (Sindri, P99-1) / MEMS 2A / MEMS 2B Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[7]
3 April 11, 2005
13:35:00
XSS-11 Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[8]
4 September 23, 2005
02:24:00
Streak (STP-R1) Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[9]
5 April 15, 2006
01:40:00
COSMIC (FORMOSAT-3) Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[10]
6 December 16, 2006
12:00
TacSat-2 / GeneSat-1 MARS LP-0B LEO Success[11]
7 April 24, 2007
06:48
NFIRE MARS LP-0B LEO Success[12]
8 May 19, 2009
23:55
TacSat-3 MARS LP-0B LEO Success[13]
9 February 6, 2011
12:26
USA-225 (NROL-66) Vandenberg SLC-8 LEO Success[14]
10 June 30, 2011
03:09
ORS-1 MARS LP-0B LEO Success[15]
11 November 20, 2013
01:15
ORS-3,[16] STPSat-3 and 28 CubeSat satellites[17] MARS LP-0B LEO Success[18]
12 June 15, 2021
13:35
NROL-111 MARS LP-0B LEO Success[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Minotaur I Space Launch Vehicle—Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. NASA. 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Minotaur Rocket". Northrop Grumman. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (24 February 2014). "Taurus rocket on the market with new name, upgrades". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Minotaur I User's Guide - Release 3.0" (PDF). Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ "NASA - TacSat-2 Mission Information". www.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  6. ^ Ray, Justin. "Spaceflight Now - Minotaur Mission Report - Mission Status Center - JAWSAT". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  7. ^ Ray, Justin. "Spaceflight Now - Minotaur Mission Report - Mission Status Center - Mightysat 2.1". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  8. ^ Ray, Justin. "Minotaur rocket launches U.S. military spacecraft". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  9. ^ Ray, Justin. "Rocket launch paints sky with breath-taking scene". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  10. ^ Ray, Justin. "Spaceflight Now - Minotaur Mission Report - Mission Status Center - COSMIC". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  11. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Minotaur rocket makes sunrise ascent from Virginia". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  12. ^ Ray, Justin. "Missile research spacecraft soars into orbit from Virginia". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  13. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Minotaur lofts experimental satellite for U.S. military". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket for U.S. Air Force". Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket Carrying ORS-1 Satellite for the U.S. Air Force". Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Media Accreditation Open for ORS-3 Mission from Wallops in November". NASA. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Orbital's Minotaur I successfully lofts multitude of payloads". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket Supporting ORS-3 Mission for the U.S. Air Force". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Northrop Grumman Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket for the National Reconnaissance Office". Northrop Grumman. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.