Encyclopedia Astronautica
Rascal SLV


American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Expendable rocket air-launched from a supersonic aircraft with engines modified using a technology called Mass Injected Pre-Compressor Cooling (MIPCC), where a coolant such as water or liquid oxygen was added to the air at the engine inlet, allowing the engine to operate at higher altitudes than normally possible.

The Space Launch Corporation was selected as the sole prime contractor for DARPA's Responsive Access, Small Cargo, Affordable Launch (RASCAL) program in March 2003. RASCAL was intended to develop a new air-launch tactical launch system, similar to SLC-1 but larger, that would provide t he U.S. military with the ability to launch time critical space-based assets within hours of detection of an emerging threat. In November 2004, the Space Launch Corporation announced successful completion of the second phase of the DARPA RASCAL program, which was intended to advance the design of the RASCAL system concept and mitigate the technical risks identified in Phase 1. However, DARPA elected in 2005 not to proceed with the next phase of the program.

Status: Cancelled 2005.

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