TacSat-4 Launch Successful

The Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Development and Test Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M., oversaw Tuesday’s successful launch of the Tactical Satellite-4 aboard a Minotaur IV+ rocket from Kodiak, Alaska. “I am really excited about TacSat-4,” said Peter Wegner, director of the Pentagon’s Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland, in a release. He continued, “It is a little bit of a surprise as not many people have paid attention to it. It is sort of an underdog mission.” During its one year of planned activity, the experimental communications satellite should enable ground troops to remain in contact via legacy hand-held radios even when they are operating in difficult mountainous and urban terrain. “This capability does not currently exist,” said Wegner. The Navy led the satellite’s development. This launch was the first successful mission of the Minotaur IV+ booster configuration. (Includes Los Angeles release)