Minotaur can place up to 340 kg into a 740-km sun-synchronous orbit – a payload about 50% greater than that of the Pegasus XL alone. Its first successful operational launch was on Jan. 26, 2000, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, when it placed the JAWSAT payload adaptor, carrying several microsatellites, into orbit.
As of mid-2006, Minotaur had successfully delivered 20 satellites into space during five launches, the most recent in April 2006 when it deployed six spacecraft for a joint Taiwan-U.S. atmospheric research project. In May 2006, two Minotaurs were ordered to loft the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's TacSat 2 and TacSat 3 satellites. The first is scheduled for launch in November 2006; the second will follow in September 2007.
Related category ROCKETS, MISSILES, AND LAUNCH VEHICLES
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