Spaceflight Now: Minotaur
Minotaur launch events

Posted: Jan. 14, 2000

T+00:00 Liftoff
The first stage ignition command is issued and the OSPSLV Minotaur rocket lifts off from the Commercial Launch Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket will start pitch down and roll maneuvers to achieve the initial flight azimuth two seconds into the launch.
T+01:01 Staging and second stage ignition
As the Minuteman 2 M-55A1 uses up all its propellant, the second stage will be ignited. The ignition command will be issued once the acceleration threshold is met from first stage burnout. The first stage will jettison to fall into the Pacific Ocean.
T+01:17 Skirt separation
The aft skirt on the second stage will be jettisoned from the rocket.
T+01:58 Jettison payload fairing
The payload fairing that protected the JAWSAT spacecraft during the atmospheric ascent opens like a clam shell and falls away from the rocket.
T+02:06 Second stage separation
The Minuteman 2 SR-19 burns out. As the acceleration limit is reached, the stage is separated to fall into the Pacific Ocean.
T+02:15 Third stage ignition
Free of the Minuteman 2 hardware, the Pegasus heritage takes over for the Minotaur rocket with ignition of the third stage.
T+03:23 Third stage burnout
The spent Orion 50 XL third stage burns out and the rocket begins a ballistic coast period.
T+10:00 Third stage separation
The third stage is separated to fall back to Earth.
T+10:10 Fourth stage ignition
The Minotaur rocket's upper stage, Orion 38 also used by Pegasus, ignites to complete the powered flight for this launch. Ignition comes as the rocket reaches apogee, increasing the velocity to orbital speed and raising the perigee.
T+11:20 Fourth stage burnout
The fourth stage completes its firing after consuming all of its solid-fuel propellant. The stage prepares to begin the programmed payload separation sequence after a 60-second coast period.
T+13:14 ASUSAT separation
The Arizona State University Satellite is released into space from the JAWSAT platform.
T+13:44 OPAL separation
Stanford University's Orbiting Picosat Automatic Launcher (OPAL) satellite is released into space from the JAWSAT platform.
T+14:14 OCSE separation
The Optical Calibration Sphere Experiment is released into space from the JAWSAT platform for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
T+16:20 FalconSat separation
The U.S. Air Force Academy's FalconSat satellite is released into space from the JAWSAT platform.
T+19:18 JAWSAT separation
Joint Air Force Academy-Weber State University multi-payload adapter is deployed from the rocket's upper stage, completing the launch. JAWSAT carries two permanently attached experiments for NASA and Weber State.

Data source: USAF
Flight data file
Vehicle: OSPSLV-1
Payload: JAWSAT
Launch date: Jan. 15, 2000
Launch time: 0254 GMT (9:54 p.m. EST Jan. 14)
Launch site: CLF, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Pre-launch briefing
Learn more about the mission.

OSP Minotaur - description of U.S. Air Force OSPSLV rocket.

Payloads - a look at JAWSAT and the other satellites to be launched on this flight.

Launch preview - overview of the mission.

Sign up for Astronomy Now's NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed directly to your desktop (free of charge).

Your e-mail address: