Author Topic: ORBITAL RECEIVES ORDER FOR MINOTAUR I SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLE FROM THE U.S. AIR FOR  (Read 2786 times)

Online jacqmans

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ORBITAL RECEIVES ORDER FOR MINOTAUR I SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLE FROM THE U.S.
AIR FORCE

-- New Order Represents the 27th Minotaur Rocket Purchased Since Program
Start in 1997 --

-- ORS-3 Enabler Mission Will be 5th Minotaur I Launch from Wallops Island,
Virginia --

(Dulles, VA 3 April 2012) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB)
announced today that the U.S. Air Force has exercised an option order for a
Minotaur I space launch vehicle to support the ORS-3 “Enabler” mission for
the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office of the Department of
Defense.  This most recent Minotaur I space launch vehicle ordered by the
Air Force will be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS)
facility at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Virginia in
2013.

“We are very pleased to continue to provide cost-effective military space
missions for the U.S. Air Force,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive
Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “For the
past 15 years, the Minotaur program has provided highly reliable and
affordable launchers that combine government-owned propulsion systems with
commercial rocket technology to support Department of Defense and other
U.S. government space missions.”

The Minotaur I is a four-stage solid fuel space launch vehicle utilizing
Minuteman rocket motors for its first and second stages, reusing
government-owned motors that have been decommissioned as a result of arms
reduction treaties.  To date, Minotaur I has conducted 10 missions with a
100% success rate, delivering 32 satellites into orbit, while the entire
Minotaur product line (see description below) has established a perfect
23-for-23 mission record.

The Enabler mission will be the fifth Minotaur I rocket to be launched from
the MARS facility, following the TacSat-2, NFIRE, TacSat-3 and ORS-1
missions conducted from the Eastern Virginia launch site in 2006, 2007,
2009 and 2011, respectfully.

About Orbital’s Minotaur Product Line

Orbital’s Minotaur product line was originally developed under the U.S. Air
Force’s Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP). The initial five-year OSP
contract was awarded to Orbital in 1997, followed by the 10-year OSP-2
contract received in 2002.  The Minotaur product line includes both space
launch vehicles and long-range suborbital vehicles for missile defense and
other specialized missions.

Minotaur vehicles are the only proven launchers currently capable of
supporting the Department of Defense’s evolving ORS launch requirements and
are also specifically designed to be capable of launching from all major
U.S. spaceports, including government and commercial launch sites in
Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia.  All Minotaur rockets share
standardized avionics and subsystems, mature industrial processes and
experienced personnel to make them reliable and cost effective.

The Minotaur I space launch configuration combines Orbital’s commercial
launch vehicle technologies, including upper-stage rocket motors,
structures, avionics and other elements, with government-supplied
lower-stage rocket motors to create responsive, reliable and low-cost
launch systems for U.S. government-sponsored spacecraft. It can place
approximately 1,300 lbs. into low-Earth orbit.

In addition to the Minotaur I space booster, Orbital’s Minotaur product
line also includes:

•       Minotaur II - A three-stage suborbital rocket used as a target
vehicle for testing U.S. missile defense systems and related missions.

•       Minotaur III - A three-stage suborbital rocket that can deliver
suborbital technology demonstration payloads of up to 6,500 lbs. or serve
as a target vehicle for testing U.S. missile defense systems and similar
missions.

•       Minotaur IV - Introduced in 2010, the Minotaur IV uses retired
Peacekeeper rocket motors, capable of launching U.S. government-sponsored
satellites weighing up to 3,800 lbs. into low-altitude orbit and can also
be configured as a three-stage suborbital booster.  It has carried out five
successful missions, including two suborbital flights for DARPA and three
space launch missions.

•       Minotaur V - An enhanced-performance version of the Minotaur IV space
launch vehicle that will be used to launch government satellites into
higher-energy orbits for missions related to space exploration and other
activities beyond low-Earth orbit.  Orbital will introduce the Minotaur V
configuration in 2013 with the launch of NASA’s LADEE lunar spacecraft from
MARS at Wallops Island, Virginia.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space
systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The
company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including
low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration
spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense
missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other
missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into
orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target
vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related
technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

# # #

Note to Editors: High-resolution images of Minotaur rockets are available
at:
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SpaceLaunch/index.shtml

Offline kevin-rf

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btw. I noticed in google searching the release the payload is also referred to as the "ORS-3 Launch and Range Enabler Mission" and it will be presented at National Space Symposium in April ( http://www.nationalspacesymposium.org/media/media-center ) .

Interesting name, does that mean it is a pathfinder for new range tracking technologies like GPS based flight tracking and termination?

btw. Has TacSat-4 been awarded yet?

Anywho... congrats Orbital!
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It's your med's!

Offline stockman

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as a matter of protocol can we please refrain from using all CAPS in thread titles - its tatamount to YELLING and really is an eye soar...

/rant off.
One Percent for Space!!!

Offline antonioe

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as a matter of protocol can we please refrain from using all CAPS in thread titles - its tatamount to YELLING and really is an eye soar...

/rant off.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?  :D
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline kch

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as a matter of protocol can we please refrain from using all CAPS in thread titles - its tatamount to YELLING and really is an eye soar...

/rant off.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?  :D

Thought that was spelled 'iSoar' ... ;)

Offline Robotbeat

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as a matter of protocol can we please refrain from using all CAPS in thread titles - its tatamount to YELLING and really is an eye soar...

/rant off.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?  :D

Thought that was spelled 'iSoar' ... ;)
No, it's eyeTar. Get it right! ;)
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline kevin-rf

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It is only an iSoar until the wing comes off the Pegasus, then it is just plain old boring rocket science ;)



If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

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