"Stargazer" is an L-1011 commercial transport aircraft modified to serve as the launch platform for Orbital’s air-launched Pegasus rocket as well as a platform for airborne research projects. The L-1011 has been used to successfully launch 35 Pegasus rockets as well as the captive carry flights of the X-34 reusable launch vehicle demonstrator. The aircraft has also been used to conduct various airborne research projects including the NASA Adaptive Performance Optimization (APO) project.
Orbital’s L-1011 airborne launch and research platform enhancements include:
Fully equipped as an airborne platform providing power, data, video monitoring and telemetry transmission,
Efficient design for rapid test equipment installation and removal,
The unique external payload hook system can support an externally mounted pallet for aerial research equipment or for external release,
Launch Panel Operator (LPO) station to monitor and control payload,