Northrop Grumman has conducted nearly 100 space launch missions, boosting hundreds of satellites into space.
Northrop Grumman built the world’s first privately-developed space launch vehicle. Since then, we have conducted nearly 100 space launch missions with our Pegasus®, Minotaur™ and Antares™ space launch vehicles, boosting hundreds of satellites into space.
Designed to provide responsive and low-cost access to space, the Antares rocket is a two-stage vehicle that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg. The rocket’s upgraded design features newly-built RD-181 first stage engines to provide greater payload performance and increased reliability.
The three-stage Pegasus rocket is used to deploy small satellites weighing up to 1,000 pounds (454 kg) into low-earth orbit. Pegasus is carried aloft by our Stargazer L-1011 aircraft to approximately 40,000 feet over open ocean, where it is released and free-falls for five seconds before igniting its first stage rocket motor. With its unique delta-shaped wing, Pegasus typically delivers satellites into orbit in a little over 10 minutes. First flown in 1990, Pegasus has conducted 45 missions launching nearly 100 spacecraft.