The Curiosity rover, which is designed to explore Mars, has found an ancient oasis on Mars. Researchers working with the Curiosity rover have found salt-enriched…
Co-founder of the IT giant Microsoft, billionaire Paul Allen has announced that he is going to invest in the aerospace design mogul Burt Rutan to create a private space plane. The largest space plane will allow for traveling to space for cargo transportation and tourists. The new company Stratolaunch Systems founded by Paul Allen will build an airport dedicated to the travel of the huge space plane. The space plane will be a gargantuan twin-boom aircraft that will take the space capsule to the orbit with all the scientific stuff and paying passengers on board. Paul Allen’s spacecraft is planned to be the largest flying vehicle. It will have 747 engines and a massive wingspan in 385 feet (117 meters) – this is longer than the NASA’s International Space Station is. Stratolaunch Systems’ space plane will be carrying a multi-stage rocket booster created by Space Explorations Technologies (SpaceX) that will detach from the space plane at the height of 30,000 feet (9,100 m).
The first test flight of the space plane is planned on 2015, with the first operational flight in 2016. The manufacturer guarantees that the flight is going to be safe and reliable. This is not the first time that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is investing in the space craft development. In 2004, he has invested more than $20 million for the construction of manned aircraft capable of reaching the edge of space. In October 2004, SpaceShipOne suborbital rocket, the first privately built spacecraft, has reached the suborbital space at more than 360,000 feet (112 kilometers). As a proof of success, in the same year, the SpaceShipOne spacecraft won a 10 million Ansari X Prize. Paul Allen was also financing the construction of 42 radio dishes for the nonprofit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute located northeast of San Francisco.
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