This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Minotaur

Family: Sounding Rockets. Country: USA. Status: Development.

Minotaur, the first Orbital/Sub-orbital Program (OSP) Space launch vehicle, was scheduled for a late 1999 first launch. The OSP project office, located at Kirtland AFB, was tasked by the Air Force to convert and utilize excess Minuteman II missiles for government satellite delivery. Spaceport Systems International was selected to provide commercial launch services and the launch site for the OSP/JAWSAT mission. Spaceport operations consist of payload processing services provided in the Integrated Processing Facility (IPF) located on Space Launch Complex Six (SLC-6) and include launch services from facilities just south of SLC-6. The Minotaur launch vehicle was made up of modified Minuteman II Stage I and Stage II segments mated with Pegasus upper stages and avionics by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). This program demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to utilize excess cold war assets for research and education, while at the same time using commercially available launch services to reduce their overall program costs, as directed by the Commercial Space Act of 1994.


LEO Payload: 640 kg. to: 185 km Orbit. at: 28.5 degrees. Payload: 335 kg. to a: Sun synchronous, 741 km, 98.6 deg inclination trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 73,000 kgf. Total Mass: 36,200 kg. Core Diameter: 1.7 m. Total Length: 19.2 m. Launch Price $: 12.50 million. in 1999 price dollars.

Minotaur Chronology

2000 Jan 27 - - 03:03 GMT.
2000 Jul 19 - - 20:09 GMT. Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Complex: CLF.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .