Use More Minotaurs

SpaceX and other commercial launch providers will have more competition for lofting some of NASA’s science missions — courtesy of America’s nuclear arsenal.

NASA has agreed to consider using more ICBM-derived Minotaur IV boosters to launch medium-size missions after an investigation by the agency’s Inspector General found that the move could save a significant amount of money and hedge against delays in the availability of commercial alternatives.

In a report released today, the IG’s Office said NASA has been resisting the move because it could interfere with the development of other commercial alternatives. However, agency officials said they would include Minotaur IV for medium-size science missions after they were given a draft copy of the report. Minotaur IV was already in the mix for launching small payloads.

(…) Read the rest of NASA OIG: Use More Minotaurs (3,414 words)

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(C) Douglas for Parabolic Arc, 2011. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post

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