Encyclopedia Astronautica

American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Nanosat air-launched orbital vehicle which would be dropped from a boosted F-4 carrier aircraft.

The Space Launch Corporation of Irvine, California designed the SLC-1 as an expendable rocket air-launched from an F-4 aircraft. The aircraft's jet engines would be 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 SLC-1 system could launch payloads of 10 to 20 kilograms into LEO for $1 million a launch. The company was seeking funding from the Defense Department to support development of the vehicle when it received the RASCAL contract for a much more elaborate version of the concept from DARPA in 2003.

LEO Payload: 20 kg (44 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.

Status: Study 2003.
Payload: 20 kg (44 lb).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

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