Orbital ATK’s Minotaur IV Lofts U.S. Air Force Satellite into Orbit

Minotaur IV launches ORS-5 spacecraft. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

DULLES, Va., 26 August 2017 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced its Minotaur IV space launch vehicle successfully launched and placed into orbit the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space-5 (ORS-5) spacecraft on August 26, 2017.

The Minotaur IV launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46), which is operated under license by Space Florida. This mission marks the 26th consecutive successful launch for the company’s Minotaur product line.


Busy Launch Week Begins on Monday with MAVEN Flight

Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)
Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)

The numbers are impressive.

  • 6 launches
  • 6 launch vehicles
  • ~ 40 satellites
  • 5 spaceports
  • 4 nations
  • 7 days.

That is the week in rocketry that will begin on Monday. The highlights include:

  • NASA’s MAVEN orbiter will study Mars’ atmosphere and climate (Monday, Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida );
  • Minotaur I will set a new record for the number of satellites launched into space with by sending the military’s STPSat 3 and 29 CubeSats into orbit (Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 7:30 to 9:15 pm EST — Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Virginia);
  • SpaceX will attempt to put its first communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit using its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket (Monday, Nov. 25 at 5:37 pm EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida).

Three additional launches will take place from Russia and Kazakhstan over that 7-day period. A table with all scheduled launches is below along with a map showing East Coast residents how they can view Minotaur I’s night launch on Tuesday.


NASA, ORS Award Contact for Modular Space Vehicles


Acting as a contracting agent for the Department of Defense’s Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, NASA has selected five companies to receive a contract for Modular Space Vehicles (MSV).

NASA selected ATK Space Systems Inc. in Beltsville, Md.; Miltec Corp. in Huntsville, Ala.; Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Redondo Beach, Calif.; PnP Innovations Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M.; and Sierra Nevada Corp. in Sparks, Nev., to help develop multi-mission modular space vehicles.


SpaceDev satellite chosen for next Falcon 1 launch

SpaceDev Press Release via Market Wire
March 10, 2008

POWAY, CA — SpaceDev, Inc. announced today that it has been selected to provide the first commercial satellite to be readied for the Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office’s (ORS) new Jumpstart Mission.

Jumpstart is a multi-pronged effort that will fly a responsive payload on the SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight 003 mission, currently scheduled for a June 2008 launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.


SpaceX to launch DOD payload; hopes third time is a charm

SpaceX will launch a DOD satellite aboard its Falcon 1 rocket in June. The Falcon will carry the Operationally Responsive Space Office’s first jumpstart mission.

The ORS payload will be SpaceDev’s Trailblazer spacecraft bus, originally developed under a Missile Defense Agency contract. Trailblazer will demonstrate a flexible, modular commercial bus design using off the shelf components.