Orbital ATK Prepares to Launch ORS 5 Satellite for the US Air Force

View over Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo: Wikimedia.

View over Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo: Wikimedia.

Orbital ATK announced it is in final preparations to launch its Minotaur 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Aug. 25 at approximately 11:15 p.m. EDT. The Minotaur 4 will carry the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space-5 (ORS 5) spacecraft, or SensorSat, which will monitor satellites and space debris to aid the U.S. military’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA).

With ORS 5, the U.S. Air Force will spend three years tracking military and civilian satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) to help create an orbital map.

This mission will mark the 26th flight for Orbital ATK’s Minotaur family of launchers and the sixth flight of the Minotaur 4 configuration. Minotaur vehicles are based on government-furnished Peacekeeper and Minuteman rocket motors that Orbital ATK has upgraded and integrated with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a more affordable launcher based on flight-proven hardware. The Minotaur 4 is capable of launching payloads up to 4,000 lbs. (or 1,800 kg.) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

 

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