Stratolaunch The Rocket Launcher System Rolled Out

Stratolaunch The Rocket Launcher System

Stratolaunch The Rocket Launcher System Rolled Out

Stratolaunch The Rocket Launcher System Rolled Out. Stratolaunch Systems, a subsidiary of Vulcan Aerospace, is a space transportation company that develops a new air-to-orbit launch system based in Seattle, Washington. The project was launched in 2010 and was officially announced in December 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Burt Rutan, founder of Scaled Composites, who previously collaborated on the creation of SpaceShipOne.

In 2015 Stratolaunch Systems was placed under the supervision of the new company of Paul Allen Vulcan Aerospace, a subsidiary of Vulcan, Inc.

The project is a mobile launch system with three primary components; A carrier aircraft being built by Scaled Composites, a multi-stage payload "launch vehicle" that would be launched at high altitude in the space below the carrier plane, in addition to a Dynetics coupling and integration system.

The first test flights will begin in 2017, with the goal of a commercial launch for 2020.

Like Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnight Two aircraft, the Stratolaunch is designed to launch rockets into orbit from an altitude of 9,000 meters.

Stratolaunch Flight Profile

Stratolaunch Flight Profile

Built by Scaled Composites at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California, it is the largest aircraft with a wingspan of 385 feet (117 m) and is also the largest all-composite aircraft ever built.

The twin fuselage aircraft is 238 feet (72 m) long and has a tail height of 15 m (50 feet). While the right fuselage houses the flight crew, the left fuselage carries the flight data set.

Equipped with six Boeing 747 Pratt & Whitney PW 4056 high by-pass engines, with a thrust ranging from 231-276 kN (52,000 lbf - 62,000 lbf) each, the Stratolaunch will be able to carry up to 550,000 pounds of cargo including the Y rocket Its payload.

Unlike the currently launched vertical rockets, the Stratolaunch system is reusable and therefore low cost, and will also significantly reduce the long waiting times for satellite launches.

With "weight on wheels", the plane now weighs approximately 500,000 pounds and will have a maximum takeoff weight of 1,300,000 pounds. The aircraft will have an operating range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles.

To reduce cost and development time, the engines, avionics, flight deck, landing gear and other systems came from two Boeing 747-400s used.

With the aim of a first flight later this year, Stratolaunch plans to launch the first launch demonstration as early as 2019.