U.S. Air Force ORS-5 satellite launched onboard Minotaur IV rocket

Orbital ATK has successfully launched Minotaur IV rocket carrying the United States Air Force(USAF)’s Operationally Responsive Space 5 (ORS-5) satellite on August 26, at 2:04 a.m. from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

ORS-5 marks the first Minotaur IV launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the first time launching from SLC-46 since 1999 and demonstrates the Range’s ability to support every vertical launch system in the U.S. inventory.

The launch was part of the Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) contract and the fifth mission of the ORS (Operationally Responsive Space) program.

ORS-5, also known as SensorSat,  is designed to scan for other satellites and debris to aid the U.S. military’s tracking of objects in geosynchronous orbit and act as a gap filler for the SBSS Block 10 satellite.

The satellite, which weighs 140 kg, is planned to operate from a low inclination orbit of 500-700 km height to observe satellites in the geostationary belt.

The Minotaur IV includes three solid rocket motors from decommissioned Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

For the ORS-5 launch, the Minotaur IV used two Orion 38 upper stage motors. The final Orion 38 motor burn has reduced the angle of the ORS-5 satellite’s orbit, redirecting the spacecraft to equatorial orbit.

The launch was conducted with support from 45th Space Wing (45 SW) of the USAF assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force, stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

According to Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander and mission Launch Decision Authority, today’s launch shows the Wing is on track to complete 30 launches this year and signifies the barriers the 45th Space Wing is breaking to guarantee assured access to space.



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