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The LGM-30 Minuteman is the only land based ICBM in the US strategic arsenal. Gradually these missiles will have to be retired. My question is, can they be used to launch commercial satellites into LEO? What is the highest orbit they can achieve?

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  • $\begingroup$ See Minotaur $\endgroup$ – Chris Dec 21 '15 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ They use Minuteman II and Peacekeeper (motors). My question is about Minuteman III. With minimum modifications to the existing rocket. $\endgroup$ – Kamen N. Dec 21 '15 at 21:05
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According to this page at the Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press, the LGM-30 Minuteman III has been considered for launching satellites. It also states that Orbital Sciences currently already modifies the Minuteman series for use in the Minotaur launch vehicle (although it seems this is the Minuteman II).

It looks like most of the necessary specifications are provided here, so I will try and simulate a launch to get an idea of what kind of payloads could be lifted to LEO.

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    $\begingroup$ Great, I really love the enthusiasm around this community! $\endgroup$ – Kamen N. Dec 21 '15 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ One question, I noticed in the spec. article you mentioned: "Success Rate: 96.32%" That is pretty high success rate in this field, right? But I guess there have not been that many launches. $\endgroup$ – Kamen N. Dec 21 '15 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely a weird spec since the vehicle was never used as intended. They must be quoting test launches -- I would comment on the relative success compared to other launchers but I can't say off the top of my head. There should be a question on here related to that success rate across various LVs. $\endgroup$ – Brian Lynch Dec 21 '15 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Check this one out: space.stackexchange.com/q/8566/12038 $\endgroup$ – Brian Lynch Dec 21 '15 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ Hard not to like everything rocketry-related, but would be nice to see these launching satellites into orbit instead of testing warhead targeting. And hopefully the next rocket video I watch includes a landing! $\endgroup$ – Brian Lynch Dec 21 '15 at 21:53

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