Author Topic: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle  (Read 19604 times)

Offline Skyrocket

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Orbital has added a new Minotaur version to their stable. The Minotaur-6 is a Minotaur-4+ with an additional SR-118 motor.
(SR-118 / SR-118 / SR-119 / SR-120 / Star-48BV)

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Minotaur6_Fact.pdf

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 01/22/2013 09:26 PM »
How many of these motors does the Air Force / Orbital have available ?

Is there any reasonable limit to the number of cheap launchers they can make from old ICBMs ?

Offline Jim

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 01/22/2013 11:41 PM »
How many of these motors does the Air Force / Orbital have available ?

Is there any reasonable limit to the number of cheap launchers they can make from old ICBMs ?

There were 50 Peacekeepers deployed and I don't know how many spares of each motor.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 01/24/2013 02:16 AM »
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 01/24/2013 04:07 AM »
Orbital has added a new Minotaur version to their stable. The Minotaur-6 is a Minotaur-4+ with an additional SR-118 motor.
(SR-118 / SR-118 / SR-119 / SR-120 / Star-48BV)

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Minotaur6_Fact.pdf

Outperforms Athena 2c.[1]  Practically a Delta 7420 "Med-Lite" class launcher, at least for SSO. 

Castor 120 motors have been stacked, but not SR-118 motors, so a bit of a challenge there. 

I wonder what is the payload driving this development.

As for how many motors might be available, 50 MX missiles were deployed, 51 were flight tested, and about seven eight SR118 motors have been used on Taurus and Minotaur launches.  One unreliable source that we all know and love (wiki) says that 114 missiles were delivered, without citation, suggesting that 56 55 motor sets remain.  The 114 missile claim is repeated at the following site. 
http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Mx.html

 - Ed Kyle

[1]Heck, it outperforms CZ-2D.  And Vega, and Taurus, and - you're not going to believe this - Titan 23G!  And Rokot/Briz KM.  And Atlas Agena.  And so on.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2013 07:40 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 01/24/2013 06:28 AM »

Outperforms Athena 2c.[1]  Practically a Delta 7420 "Med-Lite" class launcher, at least for SSO. 

...

[1]Heck, it outperforms CZ-2D.  And Vega, and Taurus, and - you're not going to believe this - Titan 23G!  And Rokot/Briz KM.  And Atlas Agena.  And so on.

But, as with the other Minotaur versions, it is not available commercially.

Offline Eerie

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 01/24/2013 12:36 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 01/24/2013 12:40 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
I will say that is a negative overall, but in terms of solids maybe, but I forget how many stages that the two Russian Start ILV version had. I have there handbooks.

Offline Eerie

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 01/24/2013 12:45 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
I will say that is a negative overall, but in terms of solids maybe, but I forget how many stages that the two Russian Start ILV version had. I have there handbooks.

How many stages is the record?

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
I will say that is a negative overall, but in terms of solids maybe, but I forget how many stages that the two Russian Start ILV version had. I have there handbooks.

Start-1 has four, while Start (which only flew a failed mission in 1995) has five.

The N-1 has five stages if you include the two TLI and LOI stages (block G/D)....
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #10 on: 01/24/2013 12:51 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?

5 stages is the maximum used for orbital rockets, but there were earlier examples like the Scout-E1 or the russian Start.

For suborbital launches, the number maximum number of stages was 7 (a 6 stage Trailblazer-1 rocket with an additional shaped charge firing a pellet). In this special case it is debateable, if the shaped charge qualifies as a "stage".

Offline Jim

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #11 on: 01/24/2013 12:52 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
I will say that is a negative overall, but in terms of solids maybe, but I forget how many stages that the two Russian Start ILV version had. I have there handbooks.

How many stages is the record?


Titan IIIE had 5 stages when carrying a STAR SRM for high energy mission.  Also, Titan 34D and Titan IV when carrying an IUS.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2013 12:55 PM by Jim »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #12 on: 01/24/2013 01:51 PM »

Outperforms Athena 2c.[1]  Practically a Delta 7420 "Med-Lite" class launcher, at least for SSO. 

...

[1]Heck, it outperforms CZ-2D.  And Vega, and Taurus, and - you're not going to believe this - Titan 23G!  And Rokot/Briz KM.  And Atlas Agena.  And so on.

But, as with the other Minotaur versions, it is not available commercially.

I wish they were.  Otherwise, the assets will never be fully used.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/24/2013 01:52 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #13 on: 01/24/2013 02:03 PM »
I assume they would have to contract with ATK to build new SR-118 like motors instead of re-using the old Peacekeeper segments in order to build a commerical version of the launcher.

You would have to examine the potential size of the commerical market for a launcher of this size, and if it might steal some of the market from the brand-new Antares launcher that you are trying to market to the same customer base.

In the meanwhile, the Air Force will get to use a pretty capable launcher for a fairly cheap price. I assume they can beat SpaceX on pricing with this launcher.

Offline Jim

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #14 on: 01/24/2013 02:10 PM »
I assume they would have to contract with ATK to build new SR-118 like motors instead of re-using the old Peacekeeper segments in order to build a commerical version of the launcher.

Those motors already exist and are called Castor 120's.  Athena uses 1 or 2 of them and Taurus uses one. 

The point of Minotaur is to use up existing assets.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2013 02:12 PM by Jim »

Offline gwiz

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #15 on: 01/24/2013 03:11 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
5 stages is the maximum used for orbital rockets, but there were earlier examples like the Scout-E1 or the russian Start.
Or even earlier, a Juno 1 with an extra upper stage for the unsuccessful Beacon 1 launch in 1958.

Offline IanO

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #16 on: 01/24/2013 04:11 PM »
This thing is a 5-stage rocket. Is this a record?
I will say that is a negative overall, but in terms of solids maybe, but I forget how many stages that the two Russian Start ILV version had. I have there handbooks.

How many stages is the record?


Titan IIIE had 5 stages when carrying a STAR SRM for high energy mission.  Also, Titan 34D and Titan IV when carrying an IUS.
Is that five stages counting the side boosters?  If so, you should also include India's PSLV and previous ASLV, and perhaps Pegasus/HAPS counting the airplane!
« Last Edit: 01/24/2013 04:16 PM by IanO »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #17 on: 01/24/2013 04:23 PM »
Well, if you really want to get silly, There are ways we can count the Saturn V/Apollo/LEM stack as six stages ;)
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Offline Jim

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #18 on: 01/24/2013 04:59 PM »

Is that five stages counting the side boosters?  If so, you should also include India's PSLV and previous ASLV, and perhaps Pegasus/HAPS counting the airplane!

No, the side boosters count as one stage

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur-6 - a new Peacekeeper based launch vehicle
« Reply #19 on: 01/24/2013 05:03 PM »
I conjured up a side-by-side comparison of Minotaur 4, 5, and 6, attached here.  This uses "samples" from an OSC Minotaur 5 brochure as a starting point.

 - Ed Kyle

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