Encyclopedia Astronautica
Pegasus



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Pegasus
Credit: © Mark Wade
American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher.

LEO Payload: 375 kg (826 lb) to a 200 km orbit. Failures: 4. Success Rate: 90.91%. First Fail Date: 1994-06-27. Last Fail Date: 2001-06-02. Launch data is: continuing. Development Cost $: 55.000 million. Launch Price $: 11.000 million in 1994 dollars in 1999 dollars.

Stage Data - Pegasus

  • Stage 0. 1 x L-1011. Gross Mass: 156,000 kg (343,000 lb). Empty Mass: 109,629 kg (241,690 lb). Thrust (vac): 561.900 kN (126,320 lbf). Isp: 9,900 sec. Burn time: 4,590 sec. Isp(sl): 9,000 sec. Diameter: 16.86 m (55.31 ft). Span: 47.00 m (154.00 ft). Length: 54.00 m (177.00 ft). Propellants: Air/Kerosene. No Engines: 3. Engine: RB-211-22B. Status: In Production. Comments: Lockheed airliner swept wing. Release conditions: Belly-mounted, 36,800 kg, 17.1 m length x 7.9 m span at 925 kph at 11,890 m altitude.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Pegasus-1. Gross Mass: 14,020 kg (30,900 lb). Empty Mass: 1,868 kg (4,118 lb). Thrust (vac): 484.909 kN (109,012 lbf). Isp: 294 sec. Burn time: 72 sec. Isp(sl): 180 sec. Diameter: 1.27 m (4.16 ft). Span: 6.71 m (22.01 ft). Length: 8.88 m (29.13 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Pegasus-1. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Pegasus-2. Gross Mass: 3,370 kg (7,420 lb). Empty Mass: 345 kg (760 lb). Thrust (vac): 118.199 kN (26,572 lbf). Isp: 292 sec. Burn time: 73 sec. Isp(sl): 240 sec. Diameter: 1.27 m (4.16 ft). Span: 1.27 m (4.16 ft). Length: 2.65 m (8.69 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Pegasus-2. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Pegasus-3. Gross Mass: 985 kg (2,171 lb). Empty Mass: 203 kg (447 lb). Thrust (vac): 34.568 kN (7,771 lbf). Isp: 293 sec. Burn time: 65 sec. Isp(sl): 240 sec. Diameter: 0.97 m (3.18 ft). Span: 0.97 m (3.18 ft). Length: 2.08 m (6.82 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Pegasus-3. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 4. 1 x Pegasus-4. Gross Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Empty Mass: 17 kg (37 lb). Thrust (vac): 666 N (149 lbf). Isp: 236 sec. Burn time: 241 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 0.97 m (3.18 ft). Span: 0.97 m (3.18 ft). Length: 0.25 m (0.82 ft). Propellants: Hydrazine. No Engines: 3. Engine: MR-107. Status: In Production.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 19,000 kg (41,000 lb).
Payload: 375 kg (826 lb).
Height: 15.50 m (50.80 ft).
Diameter: 1.27 m (4.16 ft).
Thrust: 486.64 kN (109,401 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1990.04.05.
Last Launch: 1994.08.03.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • GLOMR American military store-dump communications satellite. 2 launches, 1985.10.30 (GLOMR; GLOMAR) and 1990.04.05 (USA 55). More...
  • Pegsat American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1990.04.05. Chemical release experiment. More...
  • REX American earth ionosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1991.06.29 (REX) and 1996.03.09 (REX-II). The REX satellites were designed to study scintillation effects of the Earth's atmosphere on RF transmissions. More...
  • Microsat American military communications satellite. 7 launches, 1991.07.17 (Microsat 1) to (Microsat 7). Satellites used in a DARPA test of an LEO quick-reaction network for global communications. More...
  • Orbcomm American communications technology satellite. 31 launches, 1991.07.17 (Orbcomm-X) to 2008.06.19 (Orbcomm FM36). Orbcomm was a commercial venture to provide global messaging services using a constellation of 26 low-Earth orbiting satellites. More...
  • MSTI American military strategic defense satellite. 3 launches, 1992.11.21 (MSTI) to 1996.05.17 (MSTI-3). BMDO technology demonstration; Miniature Seeker Technology Demonstration. More...
  • CDS American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1993.02.09, Orbcomm OXP-1. Experimental spacecraft. More...
  • SCD Brazilian communications technology satellite. 3 launches, 1993.02.09 (SCD-1) to 1998.10.23 (SCD-2). Environmental data relay. More...
  • ALEXIS American x-ray astronomy satellite. One launch, 1993.04.25. ALEXIS was a small spacecraft built for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Its mission was to provide high resolution maps of low-energy astronomical x-ray sources. More...
  • Eagle American military strategic defense satellite. 3 launches, 1994.05.19 (STEP 2 (SIDEX)) to 1997.10.22 (STEP-4). More...
  • APEX American technology satellite. One launch, 1994.08.03, P90-6 APEX. More...
  • Microstar American communications technology satellite. 22 launches, 1995.04.03 (Orbcomm F1) to 2008.10.19 (Formosat 3F). Small satellite bus, specially designed for multiple launch by Pegasus or Taurus family launch vehicles. More...
  • STEP American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1995.06.22 (STEP 3) and 2000.06.07 (TSX 5). More...
  • TOMS-EP American earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 1996.07.02. More...
  • FAST American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1996.08.21. FAST was designed to observe and measure rapidly varying electric and magnetic fields and the flow of electrons and ions above the aurora. More...
  • HETE American gamma ray astronomy satellite. 2 launches, 1996.11.04 (HETE) and 2000.10.09 (HETE-2). The High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE) was an international mission led by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More...
  • SAC-B Argentinan solar satellite. One launch, 1996.11.04. SAC-B, an Argentine / US mission, was designed to study solar physics and astrophysics through the examination of solar flares, gamma-ray burst sources and the diffuse soft X-ray cosmic background. More...
  • CPAC American burial satellite. One launch, 1997.04.21, Celestis. More...
  • Minisat American technology satellite. One launch, 1997.04.21. The Minisat spacecraft were built for the Spanish space Agency by CASA. More...
  • Orbview-2 American civilian surveillance satellite. One launch, 1997.08.01. The SeaStar satellite carries the SeaWiFS instrument which was designed to monitor the color of the world's oceans. More...
  • FORTE American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1997.08.29. FORTE - 'Fast On-orbit Recording of Transient Events' - was a US Los Alamos National Laboratory satellite designed to study natural and artificial radio emissions from the ionosphere. More...
  • Teledesic American communications satellite. One launch, 1998.02.26. The Teledesic system was announced in 2004, and was to have provided global communication links via a constellation of 288 LEO spacecraft. More...
  • SNOE American technology satellite. One launch, 1998.02.26. More...
  • TRACE American solar satellite. One launch, 1998.04.02. TRACE, carried a 30-cm extreme ultraviolet imaging telescope for studies of the sun. Lockheed was the lead contractor while the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory made the telescope mirrors. More...
  • SWAS American infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 1998.12.06. SWAS, the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz submillimeter receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer. More...
  • WIRE American infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 1999.03.05. WIRE was designed to survey the celestial sky in the infrared bands and build on the results of the IRAS mission. More...
  • TERRIERS American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1999.05.18. More...
  • Orbview American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 2001.09.21 (Orbview-4) and 2003.06.26 (Orbview 3). More...
  • HESSI American solar satellite. One launch, 2002.02.05. HESSI, the sixth Small Explorer, was a Spectrum Astro satellite derived from the SA-200S design. It carried a rotating modulation collimator transform telescope. More...
  • SORCE American solar satellite. One launch, 2003.01.25. More...
  • Galex American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. One launch, 2003.04.28. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) was an orbiting space telescope that was to observe galaxies in ultraviolet wavelengths. More...
  • SCISAT Canadian earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 2003.08.13. More...
  • DART American rendezvous technology satellite. One launch, 2005.04.15. Autonomous Rendezvous Technology mission, planned to guide itself to within a few meters of a US satellite. More...
  • ST5 American technology satellite. 3 launched, 2006.03.22 (ST5-A) to (ST5-C). More...
  • RS-300 American technology satellite bus, first launched 2007.03.09. Ball Aerospace's RS-300 was a small, low-cost spacecraft aimed at cost-capped principle investigator led missions for Earth or space science. More...
  • C/NOFS American earth seismology satellite. One launch, 2008.04.16. The C/NOFS (Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System) satellite flew the US Defence Department's Space Test Program P00-3 space weather forecasting mission. More...

Associated Engines
  • MR-107 Redmond hydrazine monopropellant rocket engine. 0.257 kN. Spacecraft and upper stage attitude control and dV corrections, Delta 2, Titan 2, PAM D, SICBM, HAS/Peace Courage, Atlas roll control module, STEP, Pegasus. Isp=236s. First flight 1990. More...
  • Pegasus-3 Hercules solid rocket engine. 34.6 kN. Isp=287s. Upper stage engine for Pegasus, Pegasus XL, Taurus. First flight 1989. More...
  • Pegasus-1 Hercules solid rocket engine. 484.9 kN. Isp=285s. Used on Pegasus, Taurus. First flight 1989. More...
  • Pegasus-2 Hercules solid rocket engine. 118.2 kN. Isp=290s. Used on Pegasus, Taurus. First flight 1989. More...
  • RB-211-22B Rolls Royce turbofan engine. 29.4 kN. Thrust is maximum sea level thrust; specific impulse is sea level value at that thrust. Isp=9900s. Used on L1011 launch aircraft for Pegasus, Pegasus XL. First flight 1990. More...

See also
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Orbcomm Orbcomm was a commercial venture to provide global messaging services using a constellation of 26 low-Earth orbiting satellites. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Krebs, Gunter, Gunter's Space Page, University of Frankfurt, 1996. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J,, International Reference to Space Launch Systems Second Edition, AIAA, Washington DC, 1991 (succeeded by 2000 edition).
  • Wilson, Andrew, editor,, Jane's/Interavia Space Directory, Jane's Information Group, Coulsdon, Surrey, 1992 et al.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J, Hopkins, Joshua B, and Hopkins, Joseph P, International Reference to Space Launch Systems, AIAA, Washington DC, 2004.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Mayport DZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 5 launches from 1993 to 2003, reaching up to 794 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • NB-52 Subsonic rocket launch aircraft. Loaded/empty mass 177,273/70,545 kg. Thrust 430.47 kN. Specific impulse 5142 seconds. Boeing Bomber-swept wing. Maximum release conditions: Wing mounted, 25,000 kg (19.1 m length x 6.7 m span) at 880 kph at 11,448 m altitude More...
  • Orion 50 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,370/345 kg. Thrust 118.20 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 292 seconds. More...
  • Orion 50S Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 14,020/1,868 kg. Thrust 484.91 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 294 seconds. More...
  • Pegasus-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 985/203 kg. Thrust 34.57 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 293 seconds. More...

Pegasus Chronology


1990 April 5 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus. LV Configuration: Pegasus 001/F1.
  • Pegsat - . Payload: Pegsat / Orion 38. Mass: 178 kg (392 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pegsat. Decay Date: 1998-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 20546 . COSPAR: 1990-028A. Apogee: 507 km (315 mi). Perigee: 401 km (249 mi). Inclination: 94.1000 deg. Period: 93.70 min. Summary: Chemical release experiment. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .
  • USA 55 - . Payload: GLOMR 2 / TERCEL / SECS. Mass: 25 kg (55 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: GLOMR. USAF Sat Cat: 20547 . COSPAR: 1990-028B. Apogee: 642 km (398 mi). Perigee: 477 km (296 mi). Inclination: 94.1000 deg. Period: 95.90 min. Summary: Store and forward..

1993 February 9 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Mayport DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 78.3 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus. LV Configuration: Pegasus 003/F3.
  • Orbcomm OXP-1 - . Payload: Orbcomm CDS. Mass: 15 kg (33 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orbcomm. Program: Orbcomm. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: CDS. USAF Sat Cat: 22489 . COSPAR: 1993-009A. Apogee: 794 km (493 mi). Perigee: 731 km (454 mi). Inclination: 25.0000 deg. Period: 100.10 min. Summary: Experimental spacecraft. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .
  • SCD-1 - . Payload: SCD 1 / Orbcomm CDS. Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: Brazil. Agency: INPE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: SCD. USAF Sat Cat: 22490 . COSPAR: 1993-009B. Apogee: 793 km (492 mi). Perigee: 729 km (452 mi). Inclination: 25.0000 deg. Period: 100.10 min. Summary: Environmental data relay. The SCD-1 (Data Collection Satellite 1) was a Brazilian satellite designed for the collection of meteorological data relayed by data collection platforms spread throughout the Brazilian territory..

1993 April 25 - . 13:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus. LV Configuration: Pegasus 004/F4.
  • Alexis - . Payload: Alexis (P 89-1B). Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Alexis. USAF Sat Cat: 22638 . COSPAR: 1993-026A. Apogee: 746 km (463 mi). Perigee: 741 km (460 mi). Inclination: 69.8000 deg. Period: 99.70 min. Summary: Test of X-ray imaging sensors; solar array deployment malfunction. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • Orbcomm OXP-2 - . Payload: VSUM. Nation: USA. Agency: Orbcomm. Program: Orbcomm. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Orbcomm. USAF Sat Cat: 22639 . COSPAR: 1993-026B. Apogee: 843 km (524 mi). Perigee: 752 km (468 mi). Inclination: 69.9160 deg. Period: 100.74 min.

1994 August 3 - . 14:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus. LV Configuration: Pegasus F7.
  • P90-6 APEX - . Payload: APEX/Orion 38. Mass: 260 kg (570 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: APEX. USAF Sat Cat: 23191 . COSPAR: 1994-046A. Apogee: 2,534 km (1,574 mi). Perigee: 360 km (220 mi). Inclination: 69.9800 deg. Period: 114.82 min. Summary: Advanced Photovoltaic and Electronic Experiments; studied radiation and plasma effects on solar power systems..

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