Orbital Sciences to Debut Minotaur 4 in October


New Minotaur rocket to debut in October

The Minotaur 4 rocket, a new military launcher derived from retired missile parts, will debut in October with an experimental Air Force mission that will track other satellites in space.

Launch of the Minotaur 4 rocket is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 9:41 p.m. PDT (12:41 a.m. EDT; 0441 GMT on Oct. 23), the Air Force has announced.

The Minotaur 4 will lift off from Space Launch Complex 8 at the southern end of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Managed by Orbital Sciences Corp., the new rocket was developed as a low-cost solution for small- to medium-class military satellites. The four-stage launcher will be able to throw more than 3,000 pounds into low-altitude orbits, according to Orbital.

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