An-124 to be Used for Satellite Launches
The Russian aerospace industry is currently transforming one An-124-100 plane
into a flying cosmodrome.
The unique Russian-Ukrainian Air Launch system will make Russia the leader of
the global space market.
Various countries will launch 1,800 to 2,000 light satellites in the next 20
years. Expenses on their launch will be five times lower in case the new system
is used. Air Launch will pay back in three to four years.
The Air Launch system`s main advantage is that the rocket can be launched from
almost anywhere on the planet, from latitudes between 40 degrees south and 60
degrees north. It is known that the closer you get to the equator, the less
energy is needed to put the rocket in space, as the planet a sort of helps the
engines to reach the necessary speed by spinning about its axis. It is also
important that Air Launch has the unique possibility of putting satellites in
orbit with inclination from zero to 115 degrees. None of existing ground
cosmodrome can boast such universality.