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Minotaur launch scheduled

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  • By 010410
A Minotaur IV rocket is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex-8 here Tuesday, April 20, 2010.

The launch time frame is from noon to 5 p.m.

The Minotaur IV will launch the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2. The Falcon HTV-2 will fly a hypersonic glide trajectory within the earth's atmosphere to a broad-ocean area impact point near the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

DARPA's Falcon HTV-2 program seeks to demonstrate advances in high lift-to-drag aerodynamics; high-temperature materials; thermal protection systems; and advanced guidance, navigation and control.

The Minotaur IV Launch Vehicle is the newest variant in the Minotaur family of rockets built by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The Minotaur IV is a four-stage solid rocket vehicle consisting of three decommissioned Peacekeeper missile stages and a fourth, commercially-built stage developed by OSC. The rocket is designed to place a payload weighing up to 1,735 kilograms into low-Earth orbit.

30th Space Wing commander Col. David Buck is the launch decision authority.