Minotaur 1 launched the US spy satellite NROL-111 into space

WASHINGTON, BM – The American space rocket Minotaur 1 successfully launched a new US spy satellite, known as NROL-111. The rocket launch was to take place at 7 a.m. EDT but was postponed to 9:35 a.m. EDT the same day. The launch came from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

What exactly is the spy satellite NROL-111 is impossible to say, as there is no detailed information in public about it. Experts predict that NROL-111 will test new technologies related to Washington’s surveillance and intelligence activities. However, it is not clear which areas of the Earth will fall before the “eyes” of the satellite. However, it is claimed that the alleged satellite and its payload are small in size or weight, as the payload of the entire rocket is relatively smaller than usual.

The Minotaur 1 launch vehicle was developed on the basis of the early American intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as Minuteman 1. The first flight of the missile was in 2000, and the last (excluding today) was nearly 8 years ago – in 2013. This launch vehicle can carry a load of nearly 580 kg and is designed primarily for launching satellites into orbit and suborbital around the earth’s surface.

Sometimes called the banana-peel rocket, Minotaur I has a yellow thermal blanket that peels off like a banana just after liftoff. The thermal blanket is attached to ground support equipment and the launch tower via guidelines. When Minotaur I launches, the thermal blanket is peeled off the side since it is secured to the solid ground structures. The thermal protection blanket is needed because the Minotaur normally launches in a silo, where the climate can be controlled.

We remind you that on June 6 the Sirius XM radio satellite set off on its journey into space after being launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral thanks to another Falcon (Falcon 9) by SpaceX – a company of Elon Musk.

Despite a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions, the launch took place with success due to remaining clouds from Saturday, at 12:26 EDT (0426 GMT). We remind you that this is the 18th launch of SpaceX this year, three days after the company sent a cargo capsule into space for the International Space Station.

We remind you that the rocket booster already has three launches, and the launched radio satellite should replace the obsolete version, which is in space. Maxar Technologies is the company that built the satellite.

The total weight of the payload transported by the rocket and launched into orbit is 7,000 kg. The satellite itself will transmit data and information content with a capacity of 8000 watts and affects subscribers from the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. We remind you that the first Sirius radio satellite was launched into orbit at the end of last year, again by the company of Elon Musk.


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