Sunday, September 8, 2013

Where Old ICBMs Go to Die...

This was the first launch for Orbital Sciences Corporation's Minotaur V rocket.  Launched from Wallops Island off the coast of Virginia it was visible over much of the east coast.  Like many of Orbital's rockets it is derived older military rockets of both US and Russian design.

The Minotaur V is a derivative of the Peacekeeper ICBM and uses many of the ICBM's parts in these current rockets--recycling at its finest.  The Minotaur V can put almost 1,000 pounds into Lunar orbit and looks to have done so successfully with the LADEE NASA probe.  It is on its way to the moon (arrival date scheduled for 10/6) to study the Lunar atmosphere (really??) and dust conditions on the surface (again....really??)  Ahhh...leave it to NASA to spend billions looking for answers to questions that don't need answering...Regardless...nicely done by all parties involved.

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