A minotaur rocket with payloads for the Department of Defense and universities successfully blasted into orbit November 19, with Connecticut residents treated to a spectacular view of its ascent to orbit.

Watchers on the Connecticut shoreline and higher elevations were treated to a spectacular view of a similar launch in September, when a probe destined for the moon lifted off from the same facility on a NASA mission. Tuesday’s launch was at a higher trajectory giving those North of the shoreline an opportunity to see it lift off.

Watch the prior launch from Westbrook, Connecticut:

YouTube video

The rocket is carrying a payload for the Department of Defense’s “Operationally Responsive Space” program, testing new technologies to help lower the cost of putting military and other satellites in orbit. The spacecraft contains 28 tiny ‘cubesats’ that will deploy from the vehicle once it achieves orbit. Some of them are student projects from a number of universities.

The Minotaur platform is built on former minuteman missiles and can place payloads of up to 1300 pounds into low-Earth orbit.

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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