The Pegasus rocket is a winged space launch vehicle capable of carrying small, unmanned payloads (443 kilograms (980 lb)) into low Earth orbit. It is air-launched, as part of an expendable launch system developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital). Three main stages burning solid propellant provide the thrust. It flies as a rocket-powered aircraft before leaving the atmosphere.
The Pegasus is carried aloft below a carrier aircraft and launched at approximately 40,000 ft (12,000 m). The carrier aircraft provides flexibility to launch the rocket from anywhere rather than just a fixed pad. A high-altitude, winged flight launch also allows the rocket to avoid flight in the densest part of the atmosphere where a larger launch vehicle, carrying much more fuel, would be needed to overcome air friction and gravity.
Other related articles:
... Pegasus has flown 40 missions between 1990 and 2012 ... Date Payload Result 1990-04-05 191017 UTC Pegsat, NavySat Success 1991-07-17 173353 UTC Microsats (7 satellites) Partial success (orbit slightly low) 1993-02-09 143000 UTC SCD-1 Success 1993-04-25 135600 UTC ALEXIS – Array of Low Energy X-ray Imaging Sensors Success 1994-05-19 170300 UTC STEP-2 (SIDEX) Partial success (orbit slightly low) 1994-06-27 211500 UTC STEP-1 Failure (destroyed approx ...
Famous quotes containing the word pegasus:
“Such as even poets would admit perforce
More practical than Pegasus the horse
If it could put a star back in its course.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)