TASC Assures Successful Minotaur V Launch
September 9, 2013
TASC provides mission support to rocket launch powering NASA lunar mission
Chantilly, VA – TASC Inc. helped ensure the success of the inaugural mission of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Minotaur V rocket from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Sept. 6 by providing independent mission assurance, launch site support and engineering analysis.
The Minotaur V mission launched the NASA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) space vehicle into lunar orbit, where it will gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust.
"This is the 24th Minotaur family launch that TASC has supported and this mission is especially important to the Minotaur V launch team because this is the first launch of a five-stage Minotaur rocket and includes new first-flight items, like the avionics system and the guidance software," said John Brennan, vice president of TASC’s Air Force business unit. "We are honored to be a part of the USAF’s mission to support space research and proud that TASC has the program heritage and knowledge to help make this launch a success."
In preparation for the launch, TASC reviewed the design and qualification of the new stage five avionics systems, set up a new software testbed and performed independent verification and validation of the new flight software. This is also the first time the USAF and NASA have collaborated on a mission involving one of the Minotaur rockets.
The Minotaur family of launch vehicles, developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation, is managed by the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Space Development and Test Directorate (SMC/SD) Launch Systems Division (SMC/SDL) located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.