July 23, 2018

Photos: Minotaur-C rocket awaits liftoff from California


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Standing on a seaside launch pad overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a Minotaur-C rocket is set for launch Tuesday from California’s Central Coast with 10 Earth observation satellites manufactured in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

These photos show the Minotaur-C rocket, which stands about 104 feet (32 meters) tall, poised on a launch pedestal at Space Launch Complex 576E, an austere facility offering an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean.

Six SkySat satellites and four Dove CubeSats are closed up inside the Minotaur-C’s payload fairing for launch Tuesday at 2:37 p.m. PDT (5:37 p.m. EDT; 2137 GMT) at the opening of a 30-minute window.

Formerly known as the Taurus rocket, the four-stage Minotaur-C features modified avionics and other changes introduced since two Taurus launch failures in 2009 and 2011. The Taurus has flown nine times to date, six times successfully.

Read our full story for details on the mission.

These photos show the Minotaur-C on its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Credit: Orbital ATK
Credit: Orbital ATK
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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