Tonight, the U.S. Air Force will catapult 29 satellites into Earth orbit from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Weather permitting, the record-setting launch of the ORS-3 mission will be visible from much of America's Eastern Seaboard. The 105-minute launch window will open at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Writes SPACE.com's Mike Wall:
The Minotaur 1 will be hauling a cornucopia of 29 satellites tonight — the most ever lofted in a single launch, mission officials said.
ORS-3's primary payload is the Air Force's STPSat-3 spacecraft, which was built as part of a military program designed to reduce the time and cost required to get satellites to the launchpad. STPSat-3 itself carries five different experiments and sensors that will measure various aspects of the space environment.
The other 28 satellites? Cubesats.