After the failure to develop the liquid-fueled Percheron launch vehicle, Space Service Inc. (SSI) switched under the pressure of NASA to a solid fueled launcher, the Conestoga-1. It was based on the Aries sounding rocket, which was the second stage of the Minuteman ICBM, the M-56 motor. In the final orbital version, this motor would have been topped by two small solid fueled motors, creating a launch capability of some 100 kg to low earth orbit.
Only a single stage version with dummy upper stages was launched from Matagorda Island (Texas) to a height of 313 km to demonstrate the launch capability. As no orders followed, SSI focused on the development on the modular Conestoga-1000 series.
|Version||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3|
|Conestoga-1 (1 stage)||M-56A1||M-57A1 Dummy||Dummy|
|Conestoga-1||M-56A1||M-57A1 ?||Star-20 ?|
Nr TypeNr Vehicle Date LS Payload
23 1 Conestoga-1 (1 st.) 09.09.1982 Ma * Conestoga 1 * suborbital Launch sites: Ma = Matagorda Island, Texas, USA †