Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stratolaunch: Too Cool

And here I was thinking Burt Rutan had retired.

I just heard about this and watched the simulation video. The concept is to scale Burt's "White Knight" carrier/launch aircraft to super-jumbo size (six 747 engines) to provide a runway-launched "first stage" (Scaled Composites) for a large orbital booster (SpaceX) for cargo or people (using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft). Stratolaunch is a Paul Allen project with commercial operation projected for 2016. Of course nothing is flying yet, but private space looks to have a few tricks up its sleeve for the coming years.

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