Minotaur II

Minotaur II
Minotaur II launch from Vandenberg
Minotaur II launch from Vandenberg
Function Suborbital launch system
Manufacturer Orbital Sciences
Country of origin  United States
Size
Stages 2 or 3
Capacity
Payload to
8000km S/O
400 kilograms (880 lb)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Vandenberg LF-06
Total launches 8
Successes 8
Maiden flight 28 May 2000
First Stage - M55E1
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 935 kilonewtons (210,000 lbf)
Fuel Solid
Second Stage - SR19AJ1
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 268 kilonewtons (60,000 lbf)
Fuel Solid
Third Stage (Baseline) - M57A1
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust
Fuel Solid
Third Stage (Minotaur II+) - SR-73-AJ
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust
Fuel Solid
Third Stage (Heavy) - Orion 50XL
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 118.2 kilonewtons (26,600 lbf)
Burn time 74 seconds
Fuel Solid

The Minotaur II, also known as Chimera, Target Launch Vehicle, Minuteman II TLV or OSP TLV is an American rocket derived from the Minuteman II missile. It is a member of the Minotaur family of rockets produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation, and is used for long range suborbital launches.

Minotaur II rockets consist of the M55A1 first stage and SR19AJ1 second stage of a decommissioned Minuteman missile. The third stage varies depending on the configuration required for the payload. A Minuteman II M57A1 stage is used on the baseline configuration, whilst the Minotaur II+ uses an SR-79-AJ. The Minotaur II Lite is a two stage configuration, without a third stage. A heavy configuration is also available, with an Orion 50XL third stage, as used on the Minotaur I. The baseline configuration can propel a 400 kilograms (880 lb) payload into a 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) downrange, whilst the heavy configuration can place 1,400 kilograms (3,100 lb) onto a 8,000-kilometre (5,000 mi) trajectory.

Eight Minotaur IIs have been launched as of May 2009, with six flights using the baseline configuration and two using the Minotaur II+ configuration. Launches are conducted from Launch Facility 06.

Launch history

Date (UTC) Rocket Flight Payload Launch pad Trajectory Result
May 28, 2000 20:00 Minotaur II 1 OSP-TLV Missile Defense Technology Demonstrator Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
December 4, 2001 04:59 Minotaur II 2 TLV-1 IFT-7 GMDS target mission Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
March 16, 2002 02:11 Minotaur II 3 TLV-2 IFT-8 GMDS target mission Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
October 15, 2002 02:01 Minotaur II 4 TLV-3 GMDS target mission Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
December 11, 2002 08:26 Minotaur II 5 TLV-4 GMDS target mission Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
March 21, 2007 04:27 Minotaur II 6 TLV-5 FTX-02 SBR target mission Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
August 23, 2007 08:30 Minotaur II+ 7 TLV-7 Mission 2a sensor target for NFIRE satellite Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success
September 24, 2008 06:57 Minotaur II+ 8 TLV-8 Mission 2b sensor target for NFIRE satellite Vandenberg LF-06 Suborbital Success

References


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