To be honest with, I was very surprised ANY of these F-104 Starfighters were still flying. A plane with in the inventory very controversial. Mission creep was the problem with the F-104. Designed primarily if not exclusively as an INTERCEPTOR.
"The 1950s jet launching tiny satellites"
"The first fighter to fly twice the speed of sound, the Lockheed F-104 was a controversial design. Now, decades after retirement, the Starfighter is taking on a new role."
"Starfighters Inc will launch the satellites from their base in Florida"
"Cubecab plans to launch very small satellites – known as CubeSats – using a rocket that weighs a similar amount. It’s much smaller, and therefore cheaper, than any other launch method currently available."
MAGNITUDES FASTER OF A LAUNCH ON QUICK DEMAND AND ALSO IN ANY ORBIT AS DESIRED IN CONTRAST TO CONVENTIONAL METHODS OF PLACING A SATELLITE INTO OUTER SPACE!
"How will CubeCab launch these tiny satellites? Simple – they’ll use Starfighters."
A F-104. Itty-bitty wings and itty-bitty cockpit strapped to a big engine. A Cold War interceptor now a launch platform for satellites?
"Cubecab will strap its lightweight rockets, each carrying a satellite weighing around 10kg [22 pounds], on to the kind of underwing ‘pylons’ usually used to fire missiles. And Starfighters Inc, a Florida-based company which still flies a handful of F-104s, will take their pint-sized payloads up to the edge of the stratosphere and fire them into orbit."
See an animation of such a satellite launch. A F-15 military aircraft rather than the retired but still potent F-104 carrying a rocket in a zoom climb to about 60,000 feet [20 kilometers], well above much of the earth's atmosphere and already on an upward trajectory!!