Here is a link to an article from Space.com that I thought was brilliant and a clever re-use of resources.
A recent entrant into this emerging field [of small satellite launch] is NanoLauncher. The startup will rely on decommissioned military jets outfitted with a rocket to send relatively tiny payloads into suborbital and orbital flight paths.
The venture will initially operate out of the United States at established spaceports, such as NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Fla., Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif.
NanoLauncher plans to use existing technologies rather than create its own rocket or satellite deployment systems, said A.C. Charania, president of SpaceWorks Commercial, based in Washington, D.C. His company is working with three Japanese firms – IHI Aerospace, the Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer, and CSP Japan, Inc. – to get NanoLauncher off the ground.
Charania and others in his line of work envision the small satellite marketplace booming in the years to come.
Small satellites are generally characterized as weighing less than 330 pounds (150 kilograms), though the majority of those built or slated fall under the categories of nanosatellite (under 22 pounds, or 10 kg) or picosatellite (under 2.2 pounds, or 1 kg).