Tactical military satellite due for launch on Minotaur rocket.

The Minotaur 1 rocket stands ready for launch from Wallops…

The Minotaur 1 rocket stands ready for launch from Wallops Island, Va. Credit: Thom Baur/Orbital Sciences Corp.

The U.S. Air Force plans to launch a $226 million mission aboard a Minotaur rocket Tuesday to reshape how deployed forces receive battlefield imagery from space, a breakthrough in the Pentagon’s program to field tactical satellites on smaller budgets and faster schedules.

The Minotaur 1 rocket, partially composed of decommissioned Minuteman missile stages, is scheduled to ignite and soar into space at 8:28 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0028 GMT Wednesday) from pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a commercial facility located on the grounds of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Source: Stephen Clark for Space Flight Now.

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