Launch by a bomber

 
Published: Thursday 15 April 1993

Air launching: Using a B-52 ai A US B-52 bomber has been given a new role -launching satellites Recently, a modified B-52 dropped rocket carrying a Brazilian satellite an altitude of about 12.8 km. Five seconds later, the rocket motors fir sending the 150-kg satellite into a 515-km orbit above the earth.

Orbital Sciences of Fairfax Virginia, makers of the Pegasus rocket, which sent the satellite into orbit says a smaller rocket can be used for heavier payloads provided the launch site is 13 km above the earth.

The whole operation cost US $13.5 million, barely one-third the cost of a traditional launch.

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