Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Minotaur Launch Scheduled

Vandenberg AFB News Release

2005 April 7

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Team Vandenberg is set to launch a Minotaur rocket Monday from Space Launch Complex-8 on South Vandenberg. The launch window is from 6:34 a.m. to 7 a.m.

30th Space Wing Commander Col. Frank Gallegos will be the spacelift commander, or final go for launch authority, for Monday’s launch.

The XSS-11 micro-satellite demonstrates a new class of low-cost satellites. This satellite can offer affordable platforms to demonstrate key capabilities such as autonomous mission planning, rendezvous and proximity operations and other enabling technologies. The objective is to demonstrate and evaluate the maturity and readiness of several hardware and software technologies needed to provide more cost effective, more easily operated, small spacecraft for a wide variety of possible future Air Force space operations.

The Minotaur rocket is a ground-based variant of the Orbital Sciences Corp. air-launched Pegasus rocket. It is capable of launching up to 3,000 pounds into a low-Earth orbit and up to 800 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Minotaur has had two successful launches that have delivered five satellites into orbit.

Home | Site Map | Search | About | Contact

Copyright © 2005, Brian Webb. All rights reserved.