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Stratolaunch air launch system for spacecraft comes closer to reality

•, By Ben Coxworth
 Among other things, that system would require the construction of what would be the world’s largest aircraft. While some people might understandably be skeptical of such grand plans ever seeing the light of day, the company recently announced that a couple of important milestones have been reached that bring the project closer to fruition.

You can check out our previous article for a more detailed description of how the Stratolaunch system is designed to work, but here’s the condensed version ...

The spacecraft would be attached to the front end of a 490,000-lb (222,260-kg) multi-stage booster rocket, which would itself be mounted to the underside of the twin-bodied carrier aircraft. That airplane would have a wingspan of over 380 feet (116 m), weigh 1.2 million pounds (544,311 kg), and would be powered by six 747 engines.

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