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Environmental Impact Analysis Process Environmental Assessment PEGASUS Air Launched Space Booster

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The Pegasus air-launched vehicle is part of the Advanced Space Technology Program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA. The program is designed to demonstrate high-payoff advanced technology to improve systems operational support to military commanders. The government launch and demonstration of the privately developed Pegasus vehicle will be used to evaluate its launch flexibility and utility for support if military objectives as well as to place small experimental payloads into orbit. The Pegasus launch system is a three-stage solid-rocket-motor launch vehicle designed to be launched from a B-52B aircraft or similar large-lift aircraft, either government or private. It is being developed to provide a responsive, inexpensive, and highly mobile launch service to satisfy the launch needs of small mass 190km 425-lb and volume 1.8 m 3 65-fl 3 payloads for the U.S. Department of Defense and other users. The DARPA has contracted for Pegasus launch services for two captive flights and two launches into polar orbit with an option for four more flights. A B-52B carrying the Pegasus will take off from Edwards Air Force Base AFB, north of Los Angeles, California, climbing toward the town of Paso Robles. The aircraft will turn northwest about 70 km 40 mi east of San Luis Obispo, passing to within 7 km 4 mi of Paso Robles. The B-52B makes another turn near the Farallon Islands to head south into the Western Test Range WTR about 160 km 100 mi into the Pacific Ocean. Mission control for these operations will be at the NASA Ames Research CenterDryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards AFB, California. This environmental assessment addresses the potential environmental impacts from he six potential DARPANASA launches and assumes that the configuration of the Pegasus and its use of the B-52B remain as described in this document.

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  • Unmanned Spacecraft

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