Encyclopedia Astronautica
Minotaur 4


Orbital launch vehicle using surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages: an SR-118 first stage, SR-119 second stage, SR-120 third stage, new Orion 38 fourth stage and optional HAPS fifth stage. Payload 1720 kg to an 185 km, 28.5 degree orbit from Cape Canaveral; 1000 kg to a 740 km sun-synchronous orbit from Vandenberg.

First Launch: 2010.04.23.
Last Launch: 2011.09.27.
Number: 5 .

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Minotaur 4 Chronology


2010 April 23 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4. LV Configuration: Minotaur 4L.
  • HTV-2a - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: Hypersonic test.

2010 September 30 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4. LV Configuration: Minotaur IV.
  • USA 216 - . Payload: SBSS. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Ball. Class: Surveillance. Type: Orbital object surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: BCP-2000. USAF Sat Cat: 37168 . COSPAR: 2010-048A. Apogee: 633 km (393 mi). Perigee: 632 km (392 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.40 min. Summary: First Space-Based Surveillance Satellite; designed to track satellites and orbital junk from a space-based vantage point..

2010 November 20 - . 01:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4.
  • USA 217 - . Payload: STPSat-2 SIV. Mass: 135 kg (297 lb). Nation: USA. Manufacturer: AeroAstro. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: STPSat. USAF Sat Cat: 37222 . COSPAR: 2010-062A. Summary: Technology experiments. Lead satellite of USAF Space Test Program mission S26..
  • USA 218 - . Payload: RAX. Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 37223 . COSPAR: 2010-062B. Summary: Radio Aurora Explorer, a National Science Foundation 3U cubesat, built by the University of Michigan, to study the aurora by picking up ground-based radar signals..
  • USA 219 - . Payload: O/OREOS. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 37224 . COSPAR: 2010-062C. Summary: 3U cubesat by NASA-Ames with life science experiments to study microbes in free fall and the effects of ultraviolet light on organic materials..
  • USA 220 - . Payload: Fastsat-HSV. Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37225 . COSPAR: 2010-062D. Summary: Developed by NASA-Marshall and subcontractors in Huntsville; carried ionospheric and atmospheric experiments, a USAF experiment, and the Nanosail-D2 solar sail..
  • USA 221 - . Payload: Falconsat-5. Mass: 161 kg (354 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37226 . COSPAR: 2010-062E. Summary: US Air Force Academy satellite with experiments to study plasma and the ionosphere..
  • USA 222 - . Payload: Fastrac 1. Mass: 30 kg (66 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37227 . COSPAR: 2010-062F. Summary: Developed by University of Texas at Austin with USAF fuding for formation flying experiments..
  • Ballast A - . Payload: S26 Ballast A. Nation: USA. USAF Sat Cat: 37230 . COSPAR: 2010-062J.
  • Ballast B - . Payload: S26 Ballast B. Nation: USA. USAF Sat Cat: 37231 . COSPAR: 2010-062K.

2011 August 11 - . 14:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4. LV Configuration: Minotaur 4 Lite.
  • HTV-2b - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: Test mission. Hypersonic glider was launched from Vandenberg across the Pacific. The mission ended prematurely with loss of signal three minutes into the glider's free flight..

2011 September 27 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4. LV Configuration: Minotaur 4+.
  • Tacsat 4 - . Nation: USA. Program: Tacsat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Tacsat ORS. USAF Sat Cat: 37818 . COSPAR: 2011-052A. Apogee: 12,010 km (7,460 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 63.6000 deg. Period: 238.90 min. Naval Research Laboratory UHF communications satellite, equipped with a 3.7-meter-diameter communications antenna to support military handheld satellite telephones. Launch used an uprated Minotaur IV with an ATK Star 48V motor replacing the Orion 38 upper stage.

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