The NASA Wallops Flight Facility demonstrated its quick response capabilities with the successful launch December 16 of an U.S. Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket from the east coast of Virginia.
The rocket was launched at 7:00 a.m. (EST) carrying the Air Force Research Laboratory's TacSat-2 satellite and NASA's GeneSat-1 microsatellite.
"Since being selected by the Space and Missile Systems Center Space Development and Test Wing as the launch site a mere 7 months ago, Wallops personnel met all launch goals. Wallops personnel definitely have a 'can do' attitude and they did whatever was necessary to get the job done," said John Campbell, director of the Wallops Flight Facility.
"As we have been doing throughout our 61-year history, the Wallops staff responded quickly and efficiently to the country's launch needs," Campbell said. "It was truly a team effort and an honor for the Facility to work with all the participants to support this successful launch," he added.
The satellites were launched on the four-stage Minotaur I launch vehicle contracted by the Space and Missile Systems Center through Orbital Sciences Corporation's Launch Systems Group. The mission was conducted from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's launch pad on the south end of Wallops Island.
Two Minotaur 1 rockets are scheduled for launch in 2007 from Wallops carrying the Near-Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) satellite in April and the TacSat-3 satellite in October. Both missions will use the Spaceport's launch pad.
For information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/missions/tacsat2.html.
For information about Genesat-1, visit: http://tia.arc.nasa.gov/genesat1.