Minotaur V
The first Minotaur V at MARS before the launch of LADEE.
FunctionExpendable launch system
ManufacturerNorthrop Grumman (Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)
Country of originUnited States
Height24.56 m[1]
Diameter2.34 m[1]
Mass89,373 kg[1]
Payload to GTO
Mass532 kg
Payload to TLI
Mass342 kg
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sitesSLC-8, Vandenberg AFB
LP-1, Kodiak
Total launches1
First flight7 September 2013
First stage – SR-118
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust2,200 kN (490,000 lbf)
Burn time83 seconds
Second stage – SR-119
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust1,365 kilonewtons (307,000 lbf)
Burn time54 seconds
Third stage – SR-120
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust329 kilonewtons (74,000 lbf)
Burn time62 seconds
Fourth stage – Star-48BV
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust64 kilonewtons (14,000 lbf)
Burn time84 seconds
Fifth stage (Baseline) – Star-37FM
Powered by1 Solid
Maximum thrust47.26 kilonewtons (10,620 lbf)
Burn time63 seconds
Fifth stage (Optional) – Star-37FMV
Powered by1 Solid

The Minotaur V is an American expendable launch system derived from the Minotaur IV, itself a derivative of the LGM-118 Peacekeeper ICBM. It was developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation, (now absorbed into Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) and made its maiden flight on 7 September 2013 carrying the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft for NASA.[2]


The Minotaur V is a five-stage vehicle, and is designed to place up to 630 kilograms (1,390 lb) of payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, or 342 kilograms (754 lb) on a trans-lunar trajectory.[3] It consists of a Minotaur IV+, with a Star-37 as a fifth stage. Two variants are available, one with a spin-stabilized Star-37FM upper stage, and the other with a Star-37FMV capable of three-axis stabilization.[3] The Star-37FMV upper stage is heavier, reducing payload capacity, but is more maneuverable.

Launch pads

Space Launch Complex 8 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), and Pad 1 of the Kodiak Launch Complex are all capable of accommodating the Minotaur V. As of 2013, all scheduled launches are from MARS.[4]

Launch history

The initial launch of a Minotaur V occurred on 7 September 2013 at 03:27 UTC from Launch Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. The payload for the maiden flight was the LADEE lunar exoatmosphere science spacecraft.[5] While now separated from the LADEE spacecraft, both the fourth and fifth stages of the Minotaur V reached orbit, and are now derelict satellites in Earth orbit.[6]

Flight number Date (UTC) Launch site Payload Orbit Outcome
1 September 7, 2013


  1. ^ a b c "Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Launch" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Mission website". NASA. Archived from the original on 2010-03-29.
  3. ^ a b "Fact Sheet" (PDF). Minotaur V. Orbital Sciences Corporation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-03-11. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Minotaur-3/-4/-5 (OSP-2 Peacekeeper SLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  5. ^ Stephen Clark (7 September 2013). "Moon mission hits snag after flawless late-night launch". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  6. ^ Graham, William (6 September 2013). "Orbital's Minotaur V launches LADEE mission to the Moon". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.