WALLOPS UPDATE: Successful Launch! Both the TacSat-3 and PharmaSat spacecraft have communicated with their ground stations.
Launch Scheduled: 8PM (eastern) May 7th
On May 5th 2009, during a launch window of 8pm – 11pm(eastern), an Orbital Science Minotaur rocket will launch off of Wallops Island, Virginia. The Minotaur rocket will be lofting the TacSat 3 military reconnaissance satellite into orbit. This satellite includes the first military use of a hyperspectral imager thus adding an “eye in the sky” like no other.
The launch payload also includes a biology research satellite and 3 CubeSat payloads.
The launch will be viewable from most of the mid-atlantic. I’m hoping for clear skies.
NASA press release:
“WALLOPS ISLAND, VIRGINIA – NASA’S Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will be the site of the launch of an Air Force Minotaur I rocket carrying the Air Force Research Laboratory’s TacSat-3 satellite and two secondary payloads between 8 and 11 p.m. EDT, May 5.
The TacSat-3 launch will be the third Minotaur vehicle launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch pad 0B on the southern end of Wallops Island. The launch may be seen throughout the mid-Atlantic area.
The two secondary payloads are NASA’s PharmaSat microsatellite, developed at the Ames Research Center in California, and NASA’s CubeSat Technology Demonstration experiments, which includes three four-inch cubed satellites, developed by universities and industry.
Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Development and Test Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M., has overall management of the mission.
The back-up launch days for this mission are May 6 through 9.
Information about the TacSat-3/Minotaur 1 mission is available on the Internet at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/events/index.html
The status of the mission, including during the countdown, can be found at:
Web Cast: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast/
Radio: 760 AM (in the Wallops area) “