April 5, 1990

1990: Gordon Fullerton flew the NB-52 to 43,000 feet some 60 miles southwest of Monterey, Calif., and launched the Pegasus air-launched winged space booster for the first time. After falling for a few seconds, the first stage booster carried the rocket to 250,000 feet. Afterwards, the second and third stage pushed the 422-pound payload into a 320-mile polar orbit. The three-function payload, Pegsat, included a Navy communications satellite, a NASA atmospheric experiment, and instruments to measure inflight stresses.