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Minotaur launches TacSat-4
Posted: Wed, Sep 28, 2011, 9:13 AM ET (1313 GMT)
Minotaur 4 launch of TacSat-4 (US Navy) A Minotaur 4 rocket successfully launched a small military communications satellite on Tuesday. The Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur 4+ lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska at 11:49 am EDT (1549 GMT) and placed the TacSat-4 satellite into an inclined elliptical orbit with a perigee of 185 kilometers and an apogee of 11,865 kilometers. The satellite carries a UHF communications payload to enable near-continuous communications at high latitudes, augmenting existing geosynchronous orbit communications satellites. The 450-kilogram satellite was built by a government/industry team led by the Naval Research Lab and johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab; part of the project was to mature small satellite technologies for future operationally responsive space (ORS) missions.
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