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StratoLaunch: WOW!

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DocM    16,148

Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan, who came up with the idea for this monster,

 

https://www.wired.com/story/stratolaunch-airplane-burt-rutan-paul-allen/

 

Quote

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"Almost everybody who sees it for the first time says, 'Jeeeee-zus Christ!'  he says, lifting his arms and shaking his hands in hosannas. "And that's why you call it the Savior."

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MEDIUM LAUNCH VEHICLE

A new medium-class air-launch vehicle optimized for short satellite integration timelines and flexible launch profiles.

CAPABILITY
3,400 kg payload*
2022 first flight

STATUS
In development

MEDIUM LAUNCH VEHICLE HEAVY

A three-core MLV variant with capability to deploy heavier payload to orbit.

CAPABILITY
6,000 kg payload*

STATUS
Early development

SPACE PLANE (Black Ice)

A fully reusable space plane that enables advanced in-orbit capabilities and cargo return. Initial designs optimized for cargo launch, with a follow-on variant capable of transporting crew.

CAPABILITY
Medium-class payload or crew

STATUS
Design study

* Estimated performance for a 400 km circular orbit at 28.5°

Edited by DocM

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DocM    16,148

hyper-z-hypersonic-test-vehicle-stratolaunch.thumb.png.e3a19c65ebdcbaed1055141c3f192b3f.png

 

Aviation Week...

 

Quote


Stratolaunch Reveals Hypersonic Testbed Concepts

ORLANDO, FloridaAir launch space company Stratolaunch Systems has unveiled study plans for a pair of hypersonic flying testbeds that could be launched from the companys very large carrier aircraft currently in pre-flight testing at Mojave, California.
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Two baseline vehicles are under study, one a direct scale-up of the other. The smaller of the two, Hyper-A, is targeted at tests up to Mach 6 and is around 28 ft. long with a span of 11 ft, making it around twice the size of NASAs pioneering X-43A hypersonic experimental craft. With an identical planform to its larger, follow-on derivative, the Hyper-Z, the reusable vehicle would be autonomous and capable of landing and taking off from a runway, as well as being air-dropped from the Stratolaunch aircraft.

The larger Hyper-Z, which would be up to 80 ft. long with a 36 ft. span, would be aimed at tests up to Mach 10 and have an all-up weight of 65,000 lb. and a propellant fraction of around 0.6. We are seeing performance in excess of Mach 10 at 90,000 ft., albeit at high dynamic pressure, says Corda, who adds the predicted boost glide performance would take the vehicle to 500,000 ft. altitude and a range of about 800 nm.

Both would be powered by liquid rocket engines, the Hyper-Z being configured with the 200,000-lb. liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen rocket currently in development by Stratolaunch. The Hyper-A would require a smaller engine in the 5,000-lb. to 10,000-lb.-thrust range.
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Beittil    547

May he rest in peace. 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

Dtniym5VsAAOkfZ.jpg

 

Paul and the crew have built a fine ship....let's put her to work...

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DocM    16,148

The vehicle is Black Ice, the proposed Stratolaunch spaceplane. Nearly the size of Shuttle.

 

 

 

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DocM    16,148

 

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DocM    16,148

So much for their rocket development. Not a surprise after Allen's death and with the rise of Rocket Lab, Relativity Space and  Firefly on the small launcher side & SpaceX, Blue Origin on the large reusable side.

 

A demo launch of Pegasus XL is still boarded.

 

GeekWire...

 

Quote

Stratolaunch space venture sharply scales back its operations, months after Paul Allen’s death

 

Stratolaunch, the Seattle-based space venture created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen seven years ago, says its discontinuing its programs to develop a new type of rocket engine and a new line of rockets.

The company said it would continue work on the worlds largest airplane, which is designed to serve as a flying launch pad for rockets. Last week, Stratolaunch put its 385-foot-wide, twin-fuselage plane through a high-speed taxi test that many saw as a precursor for its first test flight at Mojave Air and Space Port.
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The dramatic turn of events comes three months after Allens death.

Employees were told today that more than 50 people were being laid off as a result of the streamlining strategy, according to two sources who arent employed by Stratolaunch but are familiar with the operation. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told GeekWire that about 20 employees were staying on to work on the plane and prepare for the flight test.
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Jim K    12,477

It flew...

 

 

 

 

 

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DocM    16,148

Now, all it needs is an efficient medium-class  launch vehicle. 

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Beittil    547

I still think it's ugly as f... 

 

Do hope it will some day see a rocket attached to it, but I highly doubt it ever will. 

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