America’s F-15 Strike Eagle is an unparalleled success as an air superiority fighter. Since its introduction in the 1970s, not one has been lost to an enemy aircraft in combat. Now, without real foes to speak of, it makes sense that the DARPA, the Pentagon’s future-looking research wing, would want to find a new use for F-15s in the time they’re not fighting. The scheme: launching small satellites from the belly of fighter jets already high in the atmosphere. And after a second explosion, that plan is no more.