Minotaur I

Summary

Minotaur I
NFIRE1.jpg
Minotaur I with NFIRE at MARS
FunctionSmall 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)
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
Engines1 Solid
Thrust935 kilonewtons (210,000 lbf)
PropellantSolid
Second stage – SR19
Engines1 Solid
Thrust268 kilonewtons (60,000 lbf)
PropellantSolid
Third stage – Orion 50XL
Engines1 Solid
Thrust118.2 kilonewtons (26,600 lbf)
Burn time74 seconds
PropellantSolid
Fourth stage – Orion 38
Engines1 Solid
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.
  • "Fact Sheet" (PDF). Minotaur I. Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  • "Minotaur Mission History". Minotaur I. Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  • "Minotaur I Users Guide" (PDF). Minotaur I. Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  • Wade, Mark. "Minotaur". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Minotaur-1 (OSP-SLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Minotaur-1 (OSP-SLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Minotaur-1 HAPS (OSP-SLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-04-28.