Burt Rutan + Paul Allen’s 385-Foot-Wide Strato­launch Airplane

On the runway of the Mojave Air & Space Port, the Strato­launch airplane sits waiting for its first flight later this year. To date, there’s been no aircraft bigger—or as ambitious. The wingspan of the Catamaran-style plane stretches 385 feet—a distance longer than a football field. Six engines power the beast, as well. Designed by aviation mastermind Burt Rutan, and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the Strato­launch will aim to hoist satellites to the edge of space. Piloted from the right cockpit, the plane will potentially save the tremendous energy expended by upright rockets that currently launch satellites. It also defies current launch windows. Read more about the remarkable development at Wired.

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