C-17 Drops Launch Vehicle: An Air Force C-17 flying over Edwards AFB, Calif., released a mockup of a Falcon Small Launch Vehicle, the second in a series of tests with the 65-foot, 65,000-pound mockup booster. The June 14 test vehicle was also the heaviest single item airdropped by the C-17, so far, says Kristen Pearson, 418th Flight Test Squadron Falcon program manager. The joint Air Force-DARPA Falcon SLV program is designed to produce a new low-cost method to boost satellites into low-Earth-orbit, but the Air Force also is using it to expand the C-17’s airdrop capabilities. AirLaunch LLC of Kirkland, Wash., builds the test SLVs, which are designed to simulate the Quickreach booster rocket.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.