According to the Ars Technica report, Stratolaunch Systems a space transportation manufacturer has planned to fly the world’s largest plane at the end of this year. The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen’s on August 20, disclosed world’s largest plane- Stratolaunch. The plane wingspan is 385 feet which are larger than a football field with two fuselages and six Boeing 747 engines. Stratolaunch is designed to carry rockets to the borders of space. The company is also looking forward to launching three rockets and a smaller space plane into space.
Stratolaunch Systems Company:
Stratolaunch Systems Corporation founded in 2011 by Paul Allen, is a space tech company. From the time it was founded the company has been working in total secrecy. And is trying to achieve and create itself in the satellite launch industry. And now after years of secrecy, the company has finally revealed a timeline for the launch of its huge plane, and four other launch vehicles as well.
Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd in a statement said, “We are excited to share for the first time some details about the development of our own, proprietary Stratolaunch launch vehicles, with which we will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other. Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.”
The Four launch vehicles:
This rocket was built by aerospace company Northrop Grumman which has a record of 35 successful air-launched missions. Pegasus gives a steady approach to orbit and has a capability to pull 370 kg payloads. It will take flight for the first time with the Startolaunch plane in 2020.
2. Medium Launch Vehicle:
The MLV is a new medium-class air -launch vehicle with a payload capability of 3,400 kg. It is modified for short satellite integration timelines. Startolaunch representatives said that it will take its first flight in 2022.
3. Medium launch Vehicle (Heavy):
This version of MLV is an early development with three core MLV variant. It has the ability to lift heavier payloads of 6,000 kg.
4. Space Plane:
This is a fully reusable vehicle which has the capability to pull payloads up and bring back down to the earth. The spaceplane is a medium-class payload which is organized for cargo launch. It will be a few years before the vehicle takes flight and is currently in the design-study phase.
It is still not clear that how much a Stratolaunch flight would cost, but it is safe to expect that they won’t be cheap. While other companies building smaller and smaller satellites with ground-based launches becoming cheaper. Stratolaunch ambitions could see some serious competitions in future.