By Cliff Lethbridge



Launch Status: Active

First Cape Canaveral Launch: October 22, 1998

Final Cape Canaveral Launch: Active

Total Number of Cape Canaveral Launches: Active

Vehicles Launched: Pegasus

The L-1011 Stargazer used to launch Pegasus rockets is a modified L-1011 passenger aircraft. It is capable of carrying external payloads up to 52,000 pounds to a maximum altitude of 42,000 feet at an airspeed of Mach 0.82. It features a large cabin for flight test equipment, real-time video monitoring of external payloads, aircraft-generated electrical power, nitrogen purge for temperature and moisture control, launch panel operator station, filtered air conditioning, and satellite-based communications capabilities. The aircraft has the following specifications:

Mission Endurance: 10.5 hours

Ferry Range: 4,500 miles

Maximum Altitude: 42,000 feet

Maximum Speed: Mach 0.86

Payload Maximum Weight: 52,000 pounds

Cabin Floor Width: 18.3 feet

Cabin Ceiling Height: 7.9 feet

Cabin Floor Space: 2,452 square-feet

Aircraft Length: 175 feet

Aircraft Diameter: 19.6 feet

Wingspan: 155.3 feet

Tailfin Length: 71.6 feet