You have heard of Elon Musk’s Space X and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, but Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen started his own space craft company, Stratolaunch Systems. Allen recently passed away from cancer complications before the plane was ready for its first flight. Stratolaunch is the now the name given to the worlds largest plane that has recently been completed and has plans to take its first flight within months at the end of 2018. The wingspan is so huge at 385 feet that the wright brothers could have completed their first airplane flight 3 times over tip to tip.
Stratolaunch has been built to launch satellites and spacecrafts out of the atmosphere without requiring the massive rockets that have been used throughout the history of space vehicles. While Musk and Bezos are focusing on re-usable rockets to make space travel and functional trips much cheaper than disposable rockets, Allen’s Stratolaunch is taking a different approach of using a massive plane style craft to bring each payload to the upper atmosphere which then will take off on its own, instead of launching from the ground.