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Satellite Successfully Launched Into Space From Jumbo Jet Off Central Coast

(U.S. Space Force photo)
A converted L-1011 jumbo jet flying out of Vandenberg Space Force Base with the rocket which lifted a satellite into orbit Sunday

Plane carried three stage rocket to 40,000, then rocket boosted satellite rest of the way into orbit

A secret military satellite was launched into space off the Central Coast from a jumbo jet over the weekend. It’s part of a unique military project trying to come up with quick, and flexible ways to get satellites into orbit.

A converted L-1011 jumbo jet took off from Vandenberg Space Force Base with a rocket under the plane.

When the plane reached the 40,000 foot level just after 1 a.m. Sunday, the Pegasus XL rocket was released. The three stage rocket successful put the small military satellite into orbit.

The project was the first for the new Space Safari Program Office. The creation of the agency was announced by the U.S. Space Force last week. Its objective is to develop the capacity to quickly plan, and execute space launches on short notice.