Minotaur I Rocket Launches from Wallops

A Minotaur I rocket, built by Orbital Sciences, launched from NASA’s Wallop’s Flight Facility, Pad 0B, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore last night at 20:15 EST (01:15 UTC), carrying a primary payload for the U.S. Air  Force (STPSat-3) and a secondary payload of 28 CubeSats, many of which were launched as a part of NASA’s Educational Launch of NanoSatellites (ELaNa) program.

One of the small satellites, TJ3Sat, was designed by high school students—the first such CubeSat. Amateur radio operators should be able to receive CW beacon transmissions from TJ3Sat. In fact, the project team requests that anyone who successfully receives the spacecraft’s beacon report it via their website.

Although a bright moon and moderately thick cloud cover significantly hampered the view from my location 150 miles west of Wallops, I was still able to see the Minotaur rocket rise through nearly all of its burn stages. A rocket launch, even from afar, is always an impressive sight!