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  SPACECRAFT AND INSTRUMENTS
 
 Launch Vehicle Information

TacSat-2 will be launched on board a 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 69 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

The main payload is the TacSat-2 satellite which will exhibit tenets of responsive space concepts.

The secondary payload is the GeneSat-1, which was developed by the NASA Ames Research Center. GeneSat-1 is a fully automated, miniature spaceflight system that will provide life support for small living things. The mission will look for genetic changes in bacteria (E.Coli) during spaceflight. The E.Coli on board is E.Coli K-12, which cannot live within humans. The knowledge obtained from the GeneSat-1 experiment may contribute to safe, long-duration space missions by humans.

The TacSat-2 satellite carries on board a new technology instrument sponsored by the NASA New Millennium Program which develops and validates in space advanced technologies. The instrument, called the Inertial Stellar Compass (ISC), is part of the Space Technology 6 project. The ISC was developed by Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ISC is a miniature star camera and MEMS gyro suite which will allow future small spacecraft autonomously find its orientation in space.

 
  MISSION FACTOIDS 
 
  TacSat-2 will be launched on board a Minotaur I rocket, integrated by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC).

The TacSat-2 satellite carries on board a new technology instrument sponsored by the NASA New Millennium Program which develops and validates in space advanced technologies.

TacSat-2 weighs about 814 pounds. It features 11 onboard experiments, which will be conducted during the spacecraft's planned six- to 12-month mission.

TacSat-2 will be able to directly talk to any common data link compatible ground station across the globe.

The TacSat-2 launch will be the first Minotaur vehicle launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and the first space launch mission from Wallops Island in over 11 years.

TacSat-2 will be propelled into a circular orbit approximately 255 miles above the Earth at a 40 degree inclination by a Minotaur I launch vehicle.



 




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