Bakersfield's *Stargazer* to launch TOMS on Pegasus XL June 29 (fwd)

Larry Klaes (
Fri, 21 Jun 1996 10:28:06 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 02:47:00 -0400
To: Southern California Space List <>
Subject: Bakersfield's *Stargazer* to launch TOMS on Pegasus XL June 29


For Release: June 28


Don Hatch - Manager
L-1011 Operations & Logistics
Orbital Sciences Corporation
(805) 391-4888 (Bakersfield Field Office)
(703) 406-5360 (Dulles, VA Headquarters)

Jim Spellman - Executive Director
National Space Society/Western Spaceport Chapter
(619) 379-2503 (Mtn. Mesa - Lake Isabella, CA)

NOTE TO PRINT MEDIA: Italicized words are enclosed in " *  * "

                                TOMS TO FLY ON PEGASUS XL

     Bakersfield's *Stargazer* to Serve as First Stage on trip into Space

BAKERSFIELD, CA (June 28) -- The first dedicated launch of a NASA payload on
the Meadows Field-based Orbital Sciences Corporation's Pegasus launcher --
known as *Stargazer* -- has been scheduled for Saturday, June 29.

According to the aerospace industry trade paper, *Space News,* NASA's Total
Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) will fly on the fourth launch of the
Pegasus XL space launch vehicle.  The first two Pegasus XL launches failed in
1993 and 1994, but the third succeeded earlier this year.

TOMS, which has been waiting for two years to launch, has been reconfigured
to focus on tropospheric ozone.  That will keep it from overlapping a mission
with a similar instrument slated to fly on a Japanese rocket this August.
 The latter instrument will focus on stratospheric ozone.

"*Stargazer* is a specially modified Lockheed Martin L-1011 TriStar jumbo jet
that's based at Meadows Field in Bakersfield," stated Jim Spellman, executive
director for the National Space Society's Western Spaceport Chapter in Kern,
Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county.

"It was named by OSC team members in honor of the first 'starship' commanded
by fictional character Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the *Star Trek: The Next
Generation* television series," Spellman added.  The aircraft serves as the
"first stage" by carrying the Pegasus XL rocket up to its 40,000 foot release
point over the Pacific Ocean near Vandenberg AFB in Santa Barbara county.

"Upon release from *Stargazer* and a five-second freefall, the Pegasus XL's
solid propellant rocket ignites, powering the three-stage space vehicle into
low-earth orbit in approximately eight minutes," Spellman stated.

The Pegasus XL is a low-cost alternative for placing satellites and payloads
into space at a fraction of the cost of today's current space launch market.

 In late September, a Pegasus XL will fly the ashes of '60's counterculture
guru Dr. Timothy Leary, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, Mercury
astronaut Deke Slayton, Princeton physicist Dr. Gerald O'Neill, International
Space University co-founder Todd Hawley and 28 other space pioneers into
space.  The "Founder's Flight" of space burial services is being conducted by
Celestis, Inc. of Houston, TX. 

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