The largest plane in the world was built by Stratolaunch, a space venture company founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and will be used to launch rockets and spaceplanes into space, when it eventually takes to the skies.
Stratolaunch on Monday announced that it will turn the plane into an airborne launchpad for a suite of space-bound rockets, which it plans to develop and put into service by 2020. There will be four different types of rockets, which will be launched from underneath the wings of the aircraft when it reaches a certain altitude. Three of the rockets will be able to carry satellites and/or supplies, while the fourth will be capable of transporting a small crew.
“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,” Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said. “Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.”