Satellite Launcher

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The Satellite Launcher is a high altitude plane carrying a small rocket propelled satellite.


A conventional jet equipped with a small rocket to demonstrate feasibility of rocket launches from high altutude [sic].



The Satellite Launcher may be based on DARPA's ALASA (Airborne Launch Assist Space Access) concept for launching a small satellite into orbit with a rocket carried by an airplane.


The carrier airplane is a small Mk1 airplane powered by a J-404 "Panther" Afterburning Turbofan. It has LY-50 Medium Landing Gear to achieve enough clearance to carry the rocket under its fuselage.


The rocket has two stages, the first powered by a 48-7S "Spark" Liquid Fuel Engine and the second powered by a pair of LV-1R "Spider" Liquid Fuel Engines. The upper stage includes the probe core and scientific experiments.


The satellite is capable of getting into orbit; because of thrust-to-weight issues, the best practice is to place the launcher into a fast and fairly steep climb (20-30 degrees with afterburner active), with the goal of releasing at 4-5 km of altitude. The satellite can have as much as 500 m/s of delta-V remaining after achieving orbit, enough to reach high Kerbin orbit with the instruments.