Orbital ATK’s Minotaur C Rocket Brings 10 Planet Labs Remote Sensing Satellites Into Orbit

Planet Labs’ 10 remote sensing satellites took off Tuesday aboard the Orbital ATK-built Minotaur C rocket that launched at 2:37 p.m. Pacific time from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Four Planet’s Dove satellites launched into sun-synchronous orbit approximately 350 miles above the Earth following the deployment of six SkySat spacecraft into space, Orbital ATK said Tuesday.

Rich Straka, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s launch vehicles division, said the capability to launch small- and medium-class payloads on the company’s rockets seeks to provide commercial clients an opportunity to manage their schedules and meet mission requirements.

The SkySat and Dove constellations of remote sensing satellites are designed to deliver data feeds to governments, businesses and nongovernmental organizations worldwide.

Minotaur C is a commercial launch vehicle designed to carry and launch payloads up to 3,500 pounds and has four solid rocket motors that Orbital ATK produced at three facilities in Utah.

Orbital ATK produced the separation systems, avionics and software for the rocket at its Chandler, Arizona-based facility and performed integration work on the rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Planet Labs manufactured the SkySat and Dove satellites in California.


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