Northrop Grumman integrates, tests and provides space launch services for the Minotaur family of rockets.
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, VI and C family of rockets.
Employing a combination of U.S. government-supplied rocket motors and the company’s proven commercial launch technologies, the Minotaur rocket family provides low-cost and reliable access to space for government-sponsored payloads. To date, our Minotaur rockets have completed 28 missions out of every major U.S. spaceport, demonstrating the vehicle’s unique versatility and reliability.
Minotaur I is a four-stage solid fuel space launch vehicle utilizing Minuteman rocket motors for its first and second stages, reusing motors that have been decommissioned as a result of arms reduction treaties. The Minotaur’s third and fourth stages, structures, and payload fairing are common with our highly reliable Pegasus XL rocket and feature flight proven avionics systems. Minotaur I is capable of launching payloads up to 580 kg (1,278 lbs) into low Earth Orbit. To date, Minotaur I has conducted 11 missions, delivering 62 satellites into orbit.
Minotaur IV, V, and VI
The Minotaur IV, V, and VI space launch vehicles leverage the flight-proven heritage of the Minotaur I, Pegasus, and Taurus space launch vehicles to provide an extremely cost-effective and capable space launch solution. Minotaur IV, which utilizes three government-furnished solid rocket motors from decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBMs and a commercial solid rocket upper stage, is capable of launching payloads up to 1,730 kg (3,814 lb.) to low Earth orbit. Minotaur V is an evolutionary version of Minotaur IV incorporating common structures with relatively minor changes to add a fifth stage. Minotaur V provides an extremely cost-effective capability to launch small spacecraft into high energy trajectories for geosynchronous Earth orbit and lunar missions. Minotaur VI builds on the flight-proven Minotaur IV vehicle adding a second Peacekeeper lower stage to create a five stage rocket capable of boosting payloads up to 3,100 kg (6,900 lb.) to low Earth orbit.