|Minotaur launches TacSat-2 & GeneSat-1 from Wallops Island, VA
12/16/06 ~ 7:00am
Homepage Launch Photos
A 69-foot Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur rocket launches 11 minutes before sunrise from Wallops Island, Virginia, a small NASA
facility on the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket carries the TacSat-2 applications testbed spacecraft for the US Air Force and a small 10 pound
NASA science satellite called GeneSat-1 that will study E-Coli in space as its prime objective. The mission was the first successful orbital
launch from the island since 1985 when the last Scout rocket flew (an experimental rocket attempted to launch in 1995 but failed seconds into
flight, and a few air-launched Pegasus rockets took off by plane from the island since, but were launched well out over the Atlantic).
Wallops Island has dozens of medium to large antenna dishes dotting it which are used for many applications such as weather, radar and
tracking. One is seen here, two miles from the launch pad.