NOTS - 1958 US SATELLITE LAUNCH VEHICLE
Kit is including 10 resin parts and 16 decals.
The US Navy's "space program" in 1950's consisted of several, largely ibdependent space projects run by different internal bureaus and laboratories. While the Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) ran the Vanguard program, the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, California was secretly conducting an independent military satellite program (called "Project Pilot") whose existance was not acknowledged until 1994. Project Pilot used a six-stage air-launched system capable of orbiting a 1.05 kilogram (2.3 pound) satellite. The first stage was Douglas F4D-1 Skyray jet fighter. NOTS LV (2nd - 6th stages) had a total lenght of 4.38 m (14.4 ft) and weighted only 950 kg (2,100 pounds). A total of 6 orbital attemps were made during July - August 1958 period. It is possible (but not sure), that launches 1 and 3 were succesfull and satellites reached orbit.