Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2003 Jos Heyman
 (HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch) 

Orbital Sciences Minotaur

The use of redundant LGM-30F Minuteman II missiles as space launch vehicles has been the subject of a number of proposals. Only one of these proposals resulted into an actual launch vehicle when Orbital Sciences combined the modified first and second stages of the Minuteman II missile with the Pegasus upper stages and avionics. Named the Minotaur, it gave the combination a launch capability of 640 kg into a low-Earth orbit.

Photo: Orbital Sciences

Stage Length Diameter Engine Fuel Thrust
17.50 m1.70 m1 Thiokol TX55solid 791,424 N
24.10 m1.22 m1 Aerojet SR19solid 267,730 N
33.60 m1.22 m1 Alliant Techs. Orion 50XLsolid 153,508 N
42.10 m1.22 m1 Alliant Techs. Orion 38solid 34,569 N

Specifications for Minotaur

The first use of the Minotaur was on 27 January 2000, when 10 satellites were placed in orbit, followed by a second launch on 19 July 2000.

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 3

Last Updated: 8 July 2003