Minotaur escapes the maze

This is from the Washington Post’s site–go there to see more.

Last Tuesday night, Orbital launched a Minotaur rocket with 29 cubesats aboard.  It seems everything went well.  But perhaps just showing different pictures of the Minotaur’s ascent will be of interest to you–images like the one above?  So here you go–the Washington Post has them all nice and posted for you.

This launch is also somehow related to the United States Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program.  One phrase the program uses (in this SpaceRef post) to describe what it’s supposed to accomplish, is “commercial-like procurement.”  So maybe they’re using the perfectly proportioned smiling men and women from advertising to buy parts for the program?

Just kidding–but what I don’t understand is, since we do have a “commercial” rocket sector, why not just let the commercial companies build these rockets (as Musk, Branson, and a few others have shown they can do)?  Wouldn’t the real thing be better than something government run that’s “commercial-like?”  Because those two types of organizations typically will not result in more efficient and faster processes when merged.

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