rocket taking off from launch pad


Does Northrop Grumman Launch Rockets?

Northrop Grumman regularly launches rockets throughout the year and has been doing so for nearly three decades. We set the industry standard for boosting small and medium payloads to orbit and we are currently developing a new class of intermediate- and large-class launch vehicles.

Our launch vehicles meet and often exceed requirements for commercial and government customers and are used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and to boost satellites into orbit and into interplanetary trajectories providing low-cost access to space for a variety of payloads.

Space Launch Vehicle Family

Northrop Grumman's space launch vehicles are the industry standard for boosting small and medium payloads to orbit. Our innovative Pegasus® rocket is launched from the company's "Stargazer" L-1011 carrier aircraft and has proven to be the industry's small space launch workhorse, having conducted 43 missions from six different launch sites worldwide since 1990. Northrop Grumman's Antares space launch vehicle provides medium-class space launch for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg. OmegA™, Northrop Grumman's newest rocket, is currently in development for the U.S. Air Force's National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. This is a new class of intermediate- and large-class launch vehicles.

Our Minotaur ground-launched rockets combine Pegasus upper stages with either government-supplied or commercially available first-stage rocket motors to boost larger payloads to orbit. Our Minotaur IV, V & VI rockets combine decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors with proven Northrop Grumman avionics and fairings to provide increased lifting capacity for government-sponsored payloads. Minotaur-C is a commercial Minotaur option for NASA and launch non-government-sponsored payloads.

rocket launching


Boosting Small Payloads into Orbit

The three-stage Pegasus is used to deploy small satellites weighing up to 1,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit. Pegasus is carried aloft by our Stargazer L-1011 aircraft to approximately 40,000 feet over open ocean, where it is released and free-falls five seconds before igniting its first stage rocket motor. With its unique delta-shaped wing, Pegasus typically delivers satellites into orbit in a little over 10 minutes. button


Reliable Medium-Class Access to Space

Designed to provide responsive and low-cost access to space, Antares is a two-stage vehicle (with optional third stage) that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads weighing over 8,000 kg. The Antares design has been upgraded with newly-built RD-181 first stage engines to provide greater payload performance and increased reliability. button

rocket launching
rocket launching


Low-Cost Space Launch for Government Payloads

Under the U.S. Air Force Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) contract, Northrop Grumman integrates, tests and provides space launch services for the Minotaur I, IV, V, and VI family of rockets. Employing a combination of U.S. government-supplied rocket motors and Northrop Grumman's proven commercial launch technologies, the Minotaur family of launchers provides low-cost and reliable access to space for government-sponsored payloads. button


Intermediate/heavy Class Space Launch Vehicle

Northrop Grumman is developing a new family of intermediate-and large-class space launch vehicles capable of launching national security, science and commercial payloads. OmegA is Northrop Grumman’s new intermediate/heavy class space launch vehicle capable of launching national security, science and commercial payloads. button

rocket launching

Contact Northrop Grumman Space Launch Vehicles

For media inquiries, please reach out to:

Trina Patterson
(480) 814-6504