An Orbital Science Minotaur I launch vehicle has lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport launch pad on the south end of Wallops Island in Virginia at 2:48am Eastern Tuesday, following yesterday’s scrubbed attempt at T-25 minutes due to ground support issues.
The mission is for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, which will use the satellite for data collection for the Pentagon’s ballistic missile defensive system.
To test the satellite, two un-armed Minuteman ICBMs will be launched this summer and fall from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.
Wallops has been launching rockets capable of placing satellites in Earth orbit since 1960, with the launch of the NASA Scout rocket. Nearly 30 ground-based and air-launched orbital missions have been conducted from the NASA-owned launch range.