Spaceflight Now: Minotaur
Photo Gallery:
OSP Minotaur launches

Posted: January 28, 2000

The U.S. Air Force and Orbital Sciences launched the maiden OSP Minotaur rocket at 0303 GMT on January 27 from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Images: Spaceflight Now.

Inside the tower
Workers remove a protective shielding so the mobile service gantry can be retracted into the launch position. The OSP Minotaur was enclosed in the tower during its stay on the pad.
Up, up and away
The OSP Minotaur, powered by leftover Minuteman 2 ICBM missile and Pegasus rocket stages, zooms off the launch pad in the blink of an eye.
Seen across the land
The fiery comet-like streak from the rocket was seen throughout the southwestern U.S.
Stages to space
An infrared tracking camera captured this dramatic view of the rocket's first stage falling away as the second stage powers the vehicle toward space.
Flight data file
Vehicle: OSPSLV-1
Payload: JAWSAT
Launch date: Jan. 27, 2000
Launch window: 0303-0604 GMT (10:03 p.m.-1:04 a.m. EST on 26th)
Launch site: CLF, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Video vault
The inaugural OSP Minotaur rocket blasts off from pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
  PLAY (271k QuickTime file)

The rocket's second stage ignites and the first stage is jettisoned as seen by infrared camera.
  PLAY (89k QuickTime file)