AirLaunch LLC Performs QuickReach Test
On Sept. 8, 2005, DID covered the evolution of DARPA’s FALCON program for low-cost, fast satellite launches. The goal is a booster that can launch a small satellite for less than $5 million with only 24 hours notice. On Sept. 29, 2005, AirLaunch LLC’s QuickReach system was successfully tested with a dummy booster that was live launched from a C-17 aircraft at 6,000 feet. AirLaunch LLC has now completed an $11.3 million contract under the Falcon program Phase IIA. If selected to move forward, the project would lead to a test flight to orbit in early 2008. See the full release for more details.
Here at DID, we applaud the innovation even as we wonder whether a similar approach could also be used by lesser powers to launch 2-stage ICBMs with INS/GPS guidance.