The Minotaur V is an American expendable launch system derived from the Minotaur IV, itself a derivative of the LGM-118 Peacekeeper ICBM. It was developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation, (now absorbed into Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) and made its maiden flight on 7 September 2013 carrying the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft for NASA.
The first Minotaur V at MARS before the launch of LADEE.
|Function||Expendable launch system|
|Manufacturer||Northrop Grumman (Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Payload to GTO||532 kg|
|Payload to TLI||342 kg|
|Launch sites||SLC-8, Vandenberg AFB|
|First flight||7 September 2013|
|First stage – SR-118|
|Thrust||1,607 kilonewtons (361,000 lbf)|
|Burn time||83 seconds|
|Second stage – SR-119|
|Thrust||1,365 kilonewtons (307,000 lbf)|
|Burn time||54 seconds|
|Third stage – SR-120|
|Thrust||329 kilonewtons (74,000 lbf)|
|Burn time||62 seconds|
|Fourth stage – Star-48BV|
|Thrust||64 kilonewtons (14,000 lbf)|
|Burn time||84 seconds|
|Fifth stage (Baseline) – Star-37FM|
|Thrust||47.26 kilonewtons (10,620 lbf)|
|Burn time||63 seconds|
|Fifth stage (Optional) – Star-37FMV|
The Minotaur V is a five-stage vehicle, and is designed to place up to 630 kilograms (1,390 lb) of payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, or 342 kilograms (754 lb) on a trans-lunar trajectory. It consists of a Minotaur IV+, with a Star-37 as a fifth stage. Two variants are available, one with a spin-stabilized Star-37FM upper stage, and the other with a Star-37FMV capable of three-axis stabilization. The Star-37FMV upper stage is heavier, reducing payload capacity, but is more maneuverable.
Space Launch Complex 8 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), and Pad 1 of the Kodiak Launch Complex are all capable of accommodating the Minotaur V. As of 2013[update], all scheduled launches are from MARS.
The initial launch of a Minotaur V occurred on 7 September 2013 at 03:27 UTC from Launch Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. The payload for the maiden flight was the LADEE lunar exoatmosphere science spacecraft. While now separated from the LADEE spacecraft, both the fourth and fifth stages of the Minotaur V reached orbit, and are now derelict satellites in Earth orbit.
- "Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Launch" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Mission website". NASA.
- "Fact Sheet" (PDF). Minotaur V. Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Minotaur-3/-4/-5 (OSP-2 Peacekeeper SLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Stephen Clark (7 September 2013). "Moon mission hits snag after flawless late-night launch". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Graham, William (6 September 2013). "Orbital's Minotaur V launches LADEE mission to the Moon". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.