Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Huge Flying Launch System, Next Rutan/Allen Project

Where are Burt Rutan / Paul Allen going after their present project is up and running on it's own? Well how about this monster! A gigantic 385-foot wing span, 544-tonne plane powered by six 747 engines that will serve as a flying launch platform for 490,000 pound orbital rockets.

The reason it looks so familiar is Rutan built SpaceShipOne, the ship that made the first private suborbital flight, as well as its http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifmothership, WhiteKnightOne and the follow on versions for Virgin Galactic: WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. Of course it will not be a sole effort either, SpaceX will be providing support in the way of boosters for the payload.

Here is a short animated film showing how the Stratolaunch System will work.

complete Gizmodo article here

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