Archive for the ‘Paul Allen’ Category

Paul Allen, Burt Rutan Team to Launch Rockets from Gigantic 1.2 Million Lb. Plane

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

UPDATE: Two key points missed in the initial post. First, this will indeed the largest plane ever built. Second, the rockets launched into orbit will be built by Weird Things darlings SpaceX.

Paul Allen and Burt Rutan have teamed up once again to send a plane into low-Earth orbit. Although this time, it’s on a bit grander scale.

Stratolaunch Systems will revolve around massive 1.2 million lb. planes using six 747 engines requiring 12,000 foot runway to bring the bird up to low orbit. It would then be capable of launching a rocket and landing back on Earth, therefore maximizing cost effectiveness and launch flexibility.

It’s also freaking gigantic. Seriously. Look at this thing.


They hope to launch within five years.

“We have plenty and many challenges ahead of us,” said Allen at the press conference today. “But by the end of the decade…Stratolaunch will be putting spacecraft into orbit [and will] give tomorrow’s children something to search for in the night sky.”

It’s a good thing we stopped dreaming