NFIRE Mission Information

The Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket carrying the Missile Defense Agency’s Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) satellite was launched at 2:48 a.m., Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

NFIRE Post-Launch Press Release (NASA)
Post-Launch Press Release (MDA)
Post-Launch Release (General Dynamics)
NFIRE Fact Sheet (General Dynamics)
NFIRE Launch Video

Click images to enlarge.
Photo Credit: NASA

The launch on April 23 was postponed due to an issue involving ground support equipment and could not be resolved to meet the launch window.

The mission used the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch pad on the south end of Wallops Island.

NFIRE Press Release

Viewing the Launch:

The NASA Visitor Center will be open to the public at 12:30 a.m. through 1 hour after the launch on the day of the mission. In addition, The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge/National Park Service on Assateague Island will open at 2 a.m. The beaches on Assateague are a good site for viewing the launch.


Media that were previously badged or that have requested to be badged may go to the viewing site. If you already have a badge, please bring both your temporary badge and media badge that you were issued for the April 23 launch attempt, and go directly to the Visitor Center. If you do not have a badge, you need to first go to the security building on the Wallops Main Base to pick up a badge, then go to the Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center will open at 12:30 a.m. Media will depart for the viewing site at 1:45 a.m. Call 757-824-2050 or check this web site for mission status after 7 p.m., April 23.

Invited Guests:

Invited guests that will be returning for the April 24 launch attempt, please bring both your temporary badge and your guest badge that you were issued for the April 23 launch attempt.

The Project Support Building on the Main Base will again open at 12:30 a.m. Buses (If available) will depart at 2 a.m. to go the viewing site. Call 757-824-2050 or check this web site for mission status after 7 p.m., April 23.

Launch Status:

In addition to this web site, launch status information may be found on the Wallops Information Line at 757-824-2050.

On the day of the mission, the status can be found on the information line and on 760 AM, which has range of about 5 miles from the NASA Visitor Center. Text updates also can be found at

A live video and audio web cast is not being provided for this launch.

Launch Vehicle:

The rocket for this mission is an Air Force Minotaur I rocket, integrated by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). The Minotaur I is a four-stage vehicle, two stages being refurbished Minuteman II stages and the other two stages being OSC stages. The Minotaur is about 70 feet tall and 5 feet wide

Minotaur Fact Sheet (Orbital/Air Force)

Wallops Launch Range

Wallops Research Range is America’s oldest continuously operating rocket launch and has been in service more than 60 years. For this mission, NASA Wallops is providing a full suite of launch support services to protect the public and meet Air Force requirements for data, logistical, safety and ground support services.

NASA Wallops Range Fact Sheet

Contact Information

For more information about the launch, contact Keith Koehler (757.824.1579) or Betty Flowers (757.824.1584).

 + Wallops Capabilities
+ Organizations at Wallops
+ Marine Notices
+ Facility Status


Click a photo to enlarge.
Photo Credit: NASA