Orbital Completes Ground Operations for Minotaur 4
[Satellite Today 09-16-08] Orbital Sciences Corp. has completed the full-scale pathfinder ground operations of the Minotaur 4 space launch vehicle in preparation for its inaugural flight, the company announced Sept. 16.
Orbital Sciences said the ground testing activities included the assembly of a full-scale Minotaur 4 rocket, using inert rocket motors and flight-qualified structures to fully validate all interfaces with the booster, ground support equipment and facility structures.
The pathfinder operations were overseen by representatives from the U.S. Air Force.
Launch of the Minotaur 4 is currently scheduled to take place in early 2009. Orbital said the Spaceport Systems International launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force base will be the launch site for all three Minotaur 4 missions planned in 2009.