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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Does “Air Launch to Orbit” makes the best use of Earth's Rotation?

Usually, all artificial satellites are launched in the prograde direction, since this minimizes the amount of propellant required to reach orbit by taking advantage of the Earth's rotation. Further, ...
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362 views

Benefits of air-launching a rocket

Is there a way to quantify how much you would gain by air-launching a rocket compared to a ground launch?
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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236 views

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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3answers
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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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3answers
606 views

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 ...