Orbital ATK-Built Minotaur Rocket Sends Air Force ORS-5 Satellite to Low-Earth Orbit

The U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space-5 satellite took off Saturday aboard the Orbital ATK-built Minotaur IV rocket that launched at 2:04 a.m. Eastern time from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The ORS-5 satellite that launched into low-Earth orbit is designed to provide space-based situational awareness data to the U.S. Strategic Command through the Joint Space Operations Center, Orbital ATK said Saturday.

The Space and Missile Systems Center’s ORS office at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico oversees the ORS-5 team, while the 50th space wing at Shriever AFB in Colorado is responsible for the satellite’s operation.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory serves as the prime contractor on the satellite.

The ORS-5 mission marks the Minotaur rocket’s 26th consecutive launch and inaugural lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

The Air Force procured the Minotaur rockets through the Orbital Suborbital Program-3 contract managed by Kirtland AFB.

The Minotaur IV rocket is designed to carry payloads of up to 4,000 pounds and consists of the Orion 38 solid-fuel upper stage, three Peacekeeper rocket motors and another Orion 38 insertion stage for the payload.

Orbital ATK produced the Minotaur rockets at its facilities in Arizona, California and Utah.

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