Author Topic: Minotaur I - NROL-66 - Feb 5, 2011  (Read 27772 times)

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1500
  • Liked: 44
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Minotaur I - NROL-66 - Feb 5, 2011
« on: 01/27/2011 02:47 PM »
On February, 5th a Minotaur-1 rocket will launch a classified satellite payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office from SLC-8, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch is called NROL-66

Has anyone heared of any info on the payload or the orbit?
« Last Edit: 02/05/2011 11:08 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline simonbp

  • Science Guy
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6931
  • Liked: 122
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/2011 08:12 PM »
Must be pretty small for an NRO payload; presumably a tech pathfinder of some sort?

Offline faustod

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
  • Liked: 0
  • Italy
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2011 07:16 AM »
According to http://www.spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/nrol66/110202launchpreps/
the satellite is part of RPP (Rapid Pathfinder Program).

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5846
  • Liked: 101
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #3 on: 02/03/2011 10:38 AM »
Getting a launch contract from NRO is a big coup for OSC.  I'm presuming it says very good things about the perceived reliability of Minotaur-I.  Have they launched any previous NRO payloads?
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23029
  • Liked: 1467
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/2011 11:11 AM »
Getting a launch contract from NRO is a big coup for OSC.  I'm presuming it says very good things about the perceived reliability of Minotaur-I.  Have they launched any previous NRO payloads?

Yes

Online William Graham

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3835
  • Liked: 2
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/2011 11:35 AM »
Getting a launch contract from NRO is a big coup for OSC.  I'm presuming it says very good things about the perceived reliability of Minotaur-I.  Have they launched any previous NRO payloads?

Yes

That would be STEX on a Taurus in 1998

Offline agman25

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
  • Liked: 0
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #6 on: 02/03/2011 10:12 PM »
What is the yellow material covering the bottom part of the booster. Thermal insulation?


http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/nrol66/110203gallery/

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1500
  • Liked: 44
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #7 on: 02/03/2011 10:32 PM »
What is the yellow material covering the bottom part of the booster. Thermal insulation?

Yes

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23029
  • Liked: 1467
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #8 on: 02/03/2011 10:42 PM »
What is the yellow material covering the bottom part of the booster. Thermal insulation?


http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/nrol66/110203gallery/

The Minuteman silos were "air conditioned" to maintain the SRM's at a constant temperature so that the performance was always the same for each vehicle.  The yellow material is a jacket in which conditioned air is pumped in

Offline Rocket Guy

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 6
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #9 on: 02/04/2011 02:54 AM »
And the "banana peel" as it's called rips off at liftoff. See photos 3, 4 and 5.
http://www.launchphotography.com/Minotaur_TacSat.html

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5846
  • Liked: 101
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #10 on: 02/04/2011 07:41 AM »
What strikes me about the pictures from spaceflightnow is that they emphasise just how small the Minotaur is compared to liquid-fuelled LVs.  You could see one being launched from a V2-style mobile launcher!
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9471
  • Liked: 563
    • Space Launch Report
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #11 on: 02/04/2011 02:44 PM »
What strikes me about the pictures from spaceflightnow is that they emphasise just how small the Minotaur is compared to liquid-fuelled LVs.  You could see one being launched from a V2-style mobile launcher!

Russia's Minuteman counterpart, Topol, does just that.  Several were used to orbit payloads under the START program, and those were launched from mobile launchers.  It was never clear to me why the U.S. did not develop a similar capability.

In terms of the solid/liquid size comparison, Falcon 1 is probably the best liquid comparison to Minotaur 1. 

Falcon 1 stands 21.3 meters, weighs 27.2 tonnes, and can carry 0.47 tonnes to 185 km x 9 deg from Kwajalein. 

Minotaur 1 is 19.21 meters tall, weighs 36.2 tonnes, and could boost 0.64 tonnes to 185 km x 28 deg if launched from Cape Canaveral.  It's a mighty little "pocket rocket".

- Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/04/2011 02:56 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline agman25

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
  • Liked: 0
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #12 on: 02/04/2011 02:47 PM »
What strikes me about the pictures from spaceflightnow is that they emphasise just how small the Minotaur is compared to liquid-fuelled LVs.  You could see one being launched from a V2-style mobile launcher!

Russia's Minuteman counterpart, Topol, does just that.  Several were used to orbit payloads under the START program, and those were launched from mobile launchers.  It was never clear to me why the U.S. did not develop a similar capability.

 - Ed Kyle
I guess the Trident fills the mobile ICBM role.

Offline snowhole

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
  • Liked: 0
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #13 on: 02/04/2011 05:08 PM »
The VAFB site suggests launch window to be 4:26 am, is that local or UTC?

Offline Rocket Guy

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 6
Re: Minotaur I - NROL-66
« Reply #14 on: 02/04/2011 05:26 PM »
Local time.

Tags: