Towed Glider Air Launch System

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NASA flight-tested a prototype twin-fuselage towed glider in October 2014 that could lead to rockets being launched from pilotless aircraft at high altitudes – a technology application that could significantly reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of sending small satellites into space.

The towed glider is an element of the novel rocket-launching concept of the Towed Glider Air-Launch System, or TGALS. NASA Armstrong researchers are developing the project, which is funded as a part of the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Game Changing Development Program.

NASA flight-tested a prototype twin-fuselage towed glider in October 2014 that could lead to rockets being launched from pilotless aircraft at high altitudes – a technology application that could significantly reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of sending small satellites into space. The first flights of the one-third-scale twin fuselage towed glider took place from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

Principal Technologist:
Ron Litchford (ron.litchford@nasa.gov)

Project Manager:
Christopher R. Miller (chris.r.miller@nasa.gov)