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Inside the world’s largest plane, which has a wingspan longer than a football field and could be used to launch a spaceship the size of a shuttle

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stratolaunch
The Stratolaunch is designed to launch rockets from mid-air into low-Earth orbit.
YouTube / Stratolaunch


The world’s largest plane is so big, 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.) Stratolaunch Systems owner Paul Allen hopes to launch a rocket the size of a NASA space shuttle one day, according to the Washington Post.

Since it was unveiled in June 2017, the Stratolaunch has undergone a series of tests before it makes its first flight, which is planned for this summer, according to GeekWire. In February, the Stratolaunch YouTube page posted a video of runway tests that saw the aircraft reach a top speed of 46 mph.

Here’s a look at the Stratolaunch, and why businesses might want to use it.

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