[ExI] darpa's notion of using a retrofitted fighter jet to launch payloads

Robert G Kennedy III, PE robot at ultimax.com
Wed Feb 11 00:22:20 UTC 2015

As described and quoted from The Space Review, this is not a 
mono-propellant, it's a bi-propellant.

Furthermore, the two parts (powerful oxidizer, explosive fuel, both of 
them gases!) are in the same container.

I think there's a shorter word for that: bomb.

Doesn't sound like a good idea.

Did something get lost in translation? Jeff Foust has been in the space 
reporting biz a *long* time.

This is not a new idea. Of course, everyone remembers the little 
Reagan-era ASAT launched from an F-15 (Homing Overlay Experiment?). 
However the concept was proved much further back than that, the USAF and 
the USN launched a variety of experimental ASATs from fighter aircraft 
way back in late 1950s. One of them out of China Lake IIRC was jokingly 
called "NOTS-NIK" ("NOT a SputNIK"). The NOTS actually stood for 
something real, but I forget what.


on Mon, 9 Feb 2015 20:10:07 +0000, BillK <pharos at gmail.com>, said:

> It is a new design for small rockets launched from aircraft.
> There is a good review here:
> <http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2543/1>
> Quote:
> Boeing plans to take a unique approach with the ALASA launch vehicle
> that is also intended to lower complexity and thus costs. The rocket
> will be powered by a monopropellant: a combination of nitrous oxide
.                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^                   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> and acetelyene, mixed together in the same propellant tank and
.     ^^^^^^^^^^
> "slightly chilled" below room temperature, Clapp said. That 
> propellant
> choice offers simplicity as well as a specific impluse "not far off"
> from LOX and RP-1. "That's kind of a big deal," he said. "In general,
> it's a dramatic simplification of the complexity of a rocket 
> vehicle."
> The rocket's design is also unusual, mounting four engines just below
> the payload on the vehicle. The engines are used for the first and
> second stages of the rocket, with propellant tanks below the engines
> dropping away when exhausted. This approach avoids the expense and
> complexity of separate sets of engines for the first two stages.
> -------------

Robert G Kennedy III, PE
1994 AAAS/ASME Congressional Fellow
U.S. House Subcommittee on Space

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