Tuesday, December 13, 2011
SoCal's Space Industry Powers New Space Startup: Stratolaunch
Southern California's spaceflight industry has come together to enable a new startup, Stratolaunch, backed by Paul G. Allen, the Microsoft billionaire. According to Stratolaunch today, it is leveraging technology from both Mojave-based Scaled Composites, and Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies to create a new, air-launch system to provide orbital access to space. Stratolaunch said it will create the "largest aircraft ever flown" based on a design developed by Scaled Composites, the firm created by Burt Rutan, which was behind SpaceShipOne, the first commercially developed spacecraft to reach space. That vehicle will use a multi-stage booster, developed by SpaceX, the commercial rocket firm of tech mogul Elon Musk, to launch large payloads into space. Stratolaunch is based in Huntsville, Alabama, but said it will be building its planes at the Mojave Air and Space Port.