Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Big Plane

"Why Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is building the world’s largest airplane":
[T]his very, very big plane is designed with beyond-Earth ambitions: to carry a rocket tethered to its belly to an altitude of about 35,000 feet. Then, once aloft, the rocket would drop, fire its engines and “air-launch” to orbit...

The idea is to open up access to low-Earth orbit, making the couple-hundred-mile trips above Earth’s surface a routine, Amtrak-like commute, Chuck Beames, the president of Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace, said during a tour of the facility with a small group of reporters last week.