Encyclopedia Astronautica
Minotaur 2


American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Suborbital target vehicle consisting of an M55A1 first stage, SR19 second stage, and M57 third stage - essentially a Minuteman II with Orbital guidance and control systems. 440 kg payload on a 6700 km suborbital trajectory.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 33,100 kg (72,900 lb).
Height: 17.60 m (57.70 ft).
Diameter: 1.68 m (5.51 ft).
Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).
First Launch: 2000.05.28.
Last Launch: 2008.09.24.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Minotaur Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. Proposed growth versions would use surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Boeing American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Aerospace, Seattle, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg LF03 Minuteman, Minotaur launch silo. Originally a Minuteman 394 SMS silo. Upgraded for use as a Launch Facility in 1964, and later again modified to launch the Minotaur. More...
  • Vandenberg LF06 Minuteman, Minotaur launch silo. Originally a Minuteman 394 SMS silo. Upgraded for use as a Launch Facility in 1964, and later again modified to launch the Peacekeeper. More...

Associated Stages
  • Minuteman 2-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 7,032/795 kg. Thrust 267.70 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 287.5 seconds. Second stage of Minuteman 2. Used as second stage of Minotaur launch vehicle and various SDI targets in 1980's. More...
  • Minuteman-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 23,077/2,292 kg. Thrust 791.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 262 seconds. First stage of Minuteman I. Proposed as zero stage for various Saturn variants in 1960's. Surplus motors used in ABM SDI tests in 1980's and 1990's. More...
  • Pegasus XL-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,331/416 kg. Thrust 153.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 290 seconds. More...
  • Pegasus-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 985/203 kg. Thrust 34.57 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 293 seconds. More...

Minotaur 2 Chronology


2000 May 28 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV Demo.
  • OSPTLV 1 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). Summary: OSP-TLV (TLV-Demo) Missile Defense Technology.

2001 December 4 - . 04:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-1.
  • IFT-7 GMDS target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSPC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). Summary: Instead of Lockheed Martinís Multi-Service Launch System, Orbitalís Target Launch Vehicle was used (both being versions of surplus Minuteman 2 ICBM's). The target set, a mock warhead and a single decoy, did not change..

2002 March 16 - . 02:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF03. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-2.
  • IFT-8 GMDS target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSPC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). Summary: A mock warhead and three decoy balloons (one large, two small) were used to increase the difficulty of determining the targetís location..

2002 October 15 - . 02:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-3.
  • GMDS (OSP/TLV-4?) target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSPC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). Summary: ABM target, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base towards the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein. The target suite consisted of a mock warhead and a number of decoys..

2002 December 11 - . 08:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-4.
  • GMDS (OSP/TLV-5?) target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSPC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). Summary: ABM target.This was to have been the first night-test of the GMDS, and presumably the decoy suite was more complex than previously used..

2007 March 21 - . 04:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-5.
  • FTX-02 SBR Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSPC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

2007 August 23 - . 08:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 TLV-7.
  • TLV-7 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). Mission 2a sensor target for the NFIRE satellite. The Minotaur II, a three-stage refurbished Minuteman 2 missile with a new guidance and payload section, was aimed to pass within 4 and 20 km of the NFIRE satellite while its third stage motor was burning, to allow NFIRE's sensors to characterize the the rocket and its exhaust. The Missile Defense Agency reported that Mission 2a was successful.

2008 September 24 - . 06:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 2. LV Configuration: Minotaur 2 Chimera.
  • NFIRE 2b - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use