What just happened? The Stratolaunch is a gigantic aircraft designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere and yesterday it completed its first flight. Lasting 150 minutes, the 385 ft wide plane reached a maximum speed of 189 mph and a height of 16,000 ft without a hitch, performing smoothly and just as expected.
The Stratolaunch is 385 ft (117m) wide, 238 ft (73m) long and 50 ft (15m) tall. It weighs 500,000 pounds (250 tons) empty, but full of fuel and with a rocket payload, it can weigh as much as 1,300,000 pounds (650 tons). To push all that weight, it uses two fuselages each with three Boeing 747 engines attached that can take it up to 35,000 ft and 2,000 nautical miles (3,704km).
“It was an emotional moment for me, personally, to watch this majestic bird take flight,” Stratolaunch’s CEO Jean Floyd said during a press call. “All of you have been very patient and very tolerant over…
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