Converted Missile Launches Military Satellite to Track Spacecraft and Debris

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 26, 2017

And it will do this on the relative cheap: ORS-5 was developed and launched for less than $100 million, Col. Shahnaz Punjani, director of the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space office, said during Orbital ATK's launch webcast this morning.

This mission will mark the 26th flight for Orbital ATK's Minotaur family of launchers and the sixth flight of the Minotaur 4 configuration.

The Minotaur 4 took off at 2:04 a.m. EDT (0604 GMT) from Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral, running almost three hours late due to storms that delayed launch preps Friday evening. The Minotaur IV is capable of launching payloads up to 4,000 lbs.

Converted Missile Launches Military Satellite to Track Spacecraft and Debris

Orbital ATK plans to launch a Minotaur IV rocket Cape Canaveral for the first time.

The Minotaur product line is provided via the Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP-3) contract and managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Launch Enterprise, Experimental Launch and Test Division (LE/LEX), and Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

With ORS 5, the U.S. Air Force will spend three years tracking military and civilian satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) to help create an orbital map. The final Orion 38 motor burn will reduce the angle of the ORS-5 satellite's orbit, redirecting the spacecraft to equatorial orbit.

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