Air launch booster is a space — based system in which the first stage rocket with a weight of the payload delivered to a certain height with a plane and launch it, after which the aircraft returned safely to earth. USA, Russia and some European countries have long conducted research and development work and created a variety of projects in this area. The earliest project air launch of a rocket called “Spiral” appeared in 1965 in the USSR, but because of its excessive technical complexity, high costs and the need for long and careful study was eventually suspended.
Due to the very large volume, heavy mass and long-distance missile air launch is faced with certain technical limitations. Therefore, most of the projects remained at the stage of theoretical and technical research. However, in the early 90-ies of XX century, America used aircraft b-52 for launching in the airspace of the Atlantic ocean of the carrier rocket “Pegasus”, and then the first Brazilian satellite was put into orbit on an altitude of 756 km and opened a new way to launch satellites from an airplane.
Recently in the Chinese journal “Bulletin of outer space” was printed an article entitled “Progress and prospects of Chinese Astronautics air launch”. It is worth paying attention, as among the authors listed academician LUN, Lagao, long engaged in the study of acceleration of heavy missiles. The article provides an overview of the future launch vehicles of China and a lot of important information. First of all, reveals the sensational material about that to start booster plan to use the Chinese heavy military transport aircraft Xian Y-20 (运-20; Yun-20). Its maximum weight at takeoff is more than 200 tons.
System air-launched rocket in the air has such advantages as maneuverability, speed and low cost. This does not require a special area to run and the mobility point of launch provides a more exact hit in the purpose and high viability. No need to care about the hardware, to create a huge infrastructure, spend money on the construction of various objects to service launch; you can reduce the interval between, staff and other material costs. In addition, the speed and flight altitude of transport aircraft can increase the effectiveness of the booster. All this makes the air launch an important direction of development of the start-up of small launch vehicles.
Last few years, many Chinese universities and research institutes are actively engaged in the development of miniature satellites. Due to some difficulties of conventional missile launch from a satellite, the development of air-launched booster meets the needs of science in the field of miniature satellites.
In the future, in the event of hostilities on land, at sea, in the air, or even cyberspace, air and space troops will be able to increase the military power of the country. During the war, aerospace hardware, especially satellites, and platforms to launch them to destroy. Thus at the decisive moment, it is extremely important to quickly implement the opponent’s counterattack, the right to use a place of warfare. Later in war, if our satellites will be damaged by the enemy, we will be able to use the air space to launch satellites with launch vehicles and quickly implement various tasks, such as intelligence gathering and locating of the object. Thus, the people’s liberation army (PLA) will work with a vengeance and will further guarantee the protection of national security.