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Questions tagged [air-launch]

The release of a rocket or spacecraft from another vessel or platform within the atmosphere, after which it propels itself into space.

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All dressed up and no place to go; who will be Stratolauncher's aircraft-launched rocket?

According to the Verge's Stratolaunch is scaling back operations following the death of co-founder Paul Allen, development of planned rocket has been paused. Does that leave the Scaled Composites ...
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Air-launching an Electron-like LOX-based rocket from a plane; technical challenges?

@GremlinWranger's answer and comments to the question Is it coincidence that the Electron has very similar dimensions to the Pegasus? motivates my asking for the technical challenges to air-launching ...
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Is it coincidence that the Electron has very similar dimensions to the Pegasus?

Orbital ATK Pegasus: 16.9 m × 1.27 m RocketLab Electron: 17 m × 1.2 m Apart from that, the two rockets are very different: the Pegasus is a solid-fuel, air-launched rocket with a mass of 18.5 t and ...
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Should all the Air-Launch systems be deployed at sub-sonic speeds?

There have been several proposals to develop Air-Launched rockets, like what Virgin Orbit or Pegasus rocket doing. All of the concepts are released from aircrafts in a Sub-Sonic velocity (0.7 to 0.8 ...
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Floating Launch

Can a space rocket launch if it had no platform underneath it? If a blimp could lift a rocket into the stratosphere to launch, What problems would arise and how big would it be? What prevents a blimp/...
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Range safety for air-launch vehicles

One of the main advantages for air-launched orbital systems is their ability to effectively provide a mobile launch site. The Pegasus (XL) is the only operational orbital air-launch system, but others ...
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Why did the X-15 not achieve orbit?

The X-15 has a maximum velocity of 7.274 km/s. As the velocity to achieve orbit is 8 km/s, why did they not fly horizontal/diagonal until they achieved around 7km/s and then go vertical to get to ...
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Is it possible to launch picosatellite into orbit from railgun on high-altitude plane?

Is there some combination of a plane that flies high enough, with a railgun small enough to fit into the fuselage, and a satellite small and durable enough, to make this feasible?
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Is the “airship to orbit” mission profile feasible?

By one of those weird coincidences, I had been on JP Aerospace's site mere hours before reading this question about space dirigibles here. Their mission plan seems too good to be true. They are ...
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Why aren't all satellite-carrying rockets launched from airplanes?

There are several significant advantages to air launching a satellite-carrying rocket: save fuel/propellant as a horizontal take-off is more energy efficient fully mobile platform allowing the launch ...
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Why are spacecraft not air-launched from airplanes [duplicate]

I searched on the subject, thinking it could probably be cheaper to fly the spacecraft aboard a plane and then launch it from altitude. The only thing I found was this Wikipedia page, but it only ...