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1.06.2021

Minotaur I Rocket Launching June 15 from NASA Wallops

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A Minotaur I rocket carrying a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is scheduled for launch June 15, 2021, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise is providing the launch services for this mission.

 

The launch vehicle, built and operated by Northrop Grumman, is scheduled for liftoff between 6:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS) Pad 0B on Wallops Island.

The launch may be visible along the U.S. east coast. In addition, the mission will be streamed live on the Wallops YouTube channel.

The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will not be open for this mission.

Mission information, including photos, will be available following the launch on the NRO, USSF, NASA Wallops, and Northrop Grumman websites, and their respective Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

This mission, named NROL-111, will be the third small launch USSF mission and the NRO’s second dedicated launch from Wallops in the last 12 months.

The NRO is the Intelligence Community element and a Department of Defense agency responsible for developing, acquiring, launching, and operating America’s intelligence satellites to meet the national security needs of the nation.

The 69-foot tall Minotaur I launch vehicle consists of two solid-fueled motors from decommissioned Minuteman ICBMs as the lower stages and two solid-fueled commercial solid rocket motors as upper stages.

NROL-111 is the second Northrop Grumman orbital launch from the MARS launch pads in 2021. Minotaur rockets have been launched from Wallops for nearly 15 years.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 9.06.2021

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Watch the June 15 Minotaur 1 Launch from Wallops

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NASA
 

Get up early June 15, grab a cup of coffee and watch the rise of Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur 1 rocket as it’s launched into space from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The rocket carrying three national security payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is scheduled for launch at 7a.m. June 15, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS) Pad 0B on Wallops Island. The U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise is providing the launch services for this mission.

This mission, named NROL-111, will be the third small launch USSF mission and the NRO’s second dedicated launch from Wallops in the last 12 months.

The launch may be visible, weather permitting, to residents throughout the mid-Atlantic region and possibly the East Coast of the United States.

The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will not be open for this launch.

Viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

Live coverage of the mission countdown is scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. on the Wallops YouTube site.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 14.06.2021

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Quelle: AS

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Update: 15.06.2021

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Minotaur I Booster Launches Secretive NROL-111 Payload from Wallops

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With a fierce staccato crackle that is characteristic of solid-fueled vehicles, the Minotaur I roars away from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va., at 9:35 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Photo Credit: NASA

Eleven months to the day since its most recent launch, a Northrop Grumman Corp. Minotaur-class booster took flight from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va., early Tuesday. Liftoff of the four-stage solid-fueled vehicle—making its first outing in its Minotaur I configuration since November 2013—took place at precisely 9:35 a.m. EDT to lift the highly secretive NROL-111 payload to orbit on behalf of the National Reconnaissance Office. The launch was delayed for more than 2.5 hours, on account of thunderstorms and highly dynamic lightning cells in the vicinity of the Wallops facility.

Video Credit: AmericaSpace

Descended from the Minuteman-II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the Minotaur I booster stands 63 feet (19.2 meters) tall and, including today’s perfect launch, has now completed 12 successful missions since January 2000. It has the potential to inject payloads weighing up to 1,280 pounds (580 kg) into low-Earth orbit and up to 730 pounds (330 kg) into Sun-synchronous orbit, thus positioning it squarely within the bracket of “small expendable launch vehicles”.

Six of its missions, between January 2000 and February 2011, originated from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-8 at what is now Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., with six others between December 2006 and this morning having been staged from the pretty seaside environs of Pad 0B at MARS.

Standing 63 feet (19.2 meters) tall, the Minotaur I was making its first flight in almost eight years. Photo Credit: NASA

Over the course of the last two decades and across its 12 flights, the Minotaur I has delivered a range of small military payloads into orbit for purposes ranging from reconnaissance and infrared missile-plume observations to automated rendezvous and proximity operations and from evaluations of advanced imaging and communications technologies to meteorology, climatology, “space weather” monitoring and bacterial research.

Significantly, it has a proven track record in furnishing near-term solutions to military requirements, successfully lofting December 2006’s TacSat-2 mission only seven months after the contract award and demonstrating an ability to progress from Payload Mate to Launch in under six days.

Quelle: AS

 

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