After sustained and colossal efforts spanning for about six years, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has finally announced his plans to launch demonstration of a massive airplane, Stratolaunch, hailed as the largest airline ever built. As revealed by Jean Floyd, the chief executive of Stratolaunch Systems Corporation, has revealed the testing to be done tentatively by the end of 2019. The remarkably large-sized all-composite plan will enable the launch of satellite-bearing rockets more efficiently in unusually hot or cold weather conditions, using minimal amount of fuel.
Massive Structure to Ease Airborne Launch of Rockets in Inclement Weather
The airplane is being made by Scaled Composites, a U.S.-based aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan, a renowned engineer, at the Mojave Air and Space Port, California. Measuring 226,796 kg, the leviathan is equipped with six Boeing 747 aircraft engines and boasts a payload of 500,000 pounds with a functional capability of more than 2,000 nautical miles. The wingspan measures 385 feet or 117 meters. The rockets can be attached to the center of the craft for the airborne launch. In addition, a variety of mammoth payloads and satellites can be launched using the airplane, and is better than most ground-based rocket launches due to its enhanced flexibility. The project will pave way for a cost-effective technology for sending large cargo and human to space.
Vision of Sending Cargo and Human Missions to Space Hopes to Materialize Soon
Private space travel is passionately envisioned by companies SpaceX, a company in pioneering in advanced spacecrafts and rockets, and Tesla, Inc., a major automaker. In the not-so-distant future, the massive airplane being designed may help them fulfill their dreams. Furthermore, Allen is ebullient that the success of the project will mark a milestone in normalizing the access to low Earth orbit (LEO).