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Orbital receives order for Minotaur I space launch vehicle

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Minotaur I space launch vehicle. Photo: Orbital.

DULLES, VIRGINIA (BNS): The US Air Force has exercised an option order for a Minotaur I space launch vehicle to support the ORS-3 'Enabler' mission for the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office of the Department of Defence.

This most recent Minotaur I space launch vehicle ordered by the Air Force will be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) facility at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Virginia in 2013.

The Minotaur I is a four-stage solid fuel space launch vehicle utilizing Minuteman rocket motors for its first and second stages, reusing government-owned motors that have been decommissioned as a result of arms reduction treaties.

The Enabler mission will be the fifth Minotaur I rocket to be launched from the MARS facility, following the TacSat-2, NFIRE, TacSat-3 and ORS-1 missions conducted from the Eastern Virginia launch site.

Orbital's Minotaur product line was originally developed under the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP).

The Minotaur product line includes both space launch vehicles and long-range suborbital vehicles for missile defence and other specializsd missions.

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