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Air Force, Orbital ATK set to launch ORS-5 space tracking satellite

Aug. 24 (UPI) — Orbital ATK is preparing to launch the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space-5 satellite on Aug. 25th from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The ORS-5 will be launched using Orbital’s Minotaur IV rocket and will be placed the satellite into low Earth orbit, the company announced on Thursday.

“The delivery and upcoming launch of ORS-5 marks a significant milestone in fulfilling our commitment to the space situational awareness mission and U.S. Strategic Command,” commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson said in a release last week.

“It’s an important asset for the warfighter and will be employed for at least three years.”

ORS-5 will be used to track other military and civilian satellites along with space debris and help provide the Air Force with an orbital map for operational and security purposes.

The Minotaur IV is based on decommissioned Peacekeeper and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles rocket motors that have been refurbished and provided with modern avionics. It can put a payload of up to two tons in low-Earth orbit. This will be the first time the rocket has been launched from Cape Canaveral.

“Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station expands the Minotaur launch vehicle’s capability to meet specific mission requirements for our customer,” said Orbital ATK’s vice president and general manager of Launch Vehicles Division Rich Straka.

If successful, it would be the 29th launch of the Minotaur IV.

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