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Minotaur I Rocket Launches with NRO Payload

Orbital Sciences (NYSE: ORB) successfully launched a U.S. Government payload aboard a Minotaur I rocket in a mission that originated from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Feb. 6.

Saturday’s launch marked the 20th for the Minotaur launch vehicles line since 2000.  All 20 missions were deemed successful.

“For just over a decade, the Minotaur program has proven to be an extraordinary success for the Air Force, ” Ron Grabe, executive VP and GM of Orbital Launch Systems. “By efficiently utilizing surplus government-owned rocket motors, combined with commercial upper stages, avionics and integration processes, the Orbital/Suborbital Program has been an exceptional value for government customers, launching 30 satellites into orbit and nine payloads on suborbital trajectories.”

TASC also played a role in the launch, supporting independent mission assurance, Minotaur I booster processing and day-of-launch support.

“We are proud that the efforts of the entire launch team, especially the hard work by the TASC engineers, culminated in continued success for the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, ” said Pat Talty, senior vice president of Mission Engineering at TASC.  “20 consecutive successful launches in 11 years is an extraordinary performance record.”

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