Stargazer still pumping em out after 25 years

The U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing, NASA, and Northrop Grumman used the latter’s Pegasus XL rocket to heft the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft into orbit last night.

The cool thing about Pegasus is that it was carried aloft by the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, which took off from the Skid Strip runway at CCAFS before reaching an altitude and location where the rocket was released for launch.

The Stargazer serves as the “air-breathing reusable first stage” of Pegasus, which, according to Boeing, is the first winged vehicle to accelerate to eight times the speed of sound.

A converted Air Canada Lockheed L-1011 TriStar built in 1974, Stargazer has logged at least 43 missions, launching 94 satellites since 1994.

That’s just not something you see every day

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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