- The Stratolaunch is the world’s largest aircraft.
- Its 385-foot wingspan is longer than a football field.
- The aircraft made its first flight on April 13.
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The world’s largest plane is so big that it needs two fuselages with separate cockpits.
It’s called the Stratolaunch, and it’s designed to launch rockets into space in what is known as low-Earth orbit, which means the spacecraft is between 99 and 1,200 miles above the Earth’s surface. (Most space flights, as well as satellites and the International Space Station, are in low-Earth orbit.) Paul Allen — the late founder of the company that makes the Stratolaunch, also called Stratolaunch — hoped to launch a rocket the size of a NASA space shuttle one day, according to the Washington Post.
The Stratolaunch made its first flight on April 13, the company said in a press release. The aircraft flew for over two hours and reached a maximum speed of 189 mph.
Here’s a look at the Stratolaunch, and why businesses might want to use it.
SEE ALSO: MIT and NASA created a futuristic ultra-flexible airplane wing that could change the way we fly
Stratolaunch was founded by the late Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft.
Allen’s goal for the company and its namesake aircraft was to “provide convenient, reliable, and routine access to low-Earth orbit.”
It will do so by launching rockets toward space from mid-air, which the company hopes will be less expensive than current commercial space-launch options.
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