Minotaur 4 launches Orion Ascent Abort-2 test
7/2/19 ~ 7:00am

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A modified Minotaur 4/Peacekeeper first stage launches NASA's Orion Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) demonstration, designed to test the
ability of the crewed capsule to abort during maximum aerodynamic pressure, or Max-Q conditions during launch. The booster propelled
the mock capsule to an altitude of around 33,000 feet in 50 seconds, before firing its Launch Escape System (LES) motor to tear the
spacecraft away from the rocket. It would save the lives of potential future astronauts that will ride NASA's Space Launch System
(SLS) rocket into space, should something go wrong early in the launch. The booster, capsule and escape tower splashed down in the
Atlantic ocean a few miles off shore.