The goal was to build a four or five engine variant of the Falcon rocket designed for air-launch. However, work between the companies ended inafter SpaceX determined that too many modifications were required. They have since entered production for build up processing last month.
Like WK2, the Stratolaunch plane features a dual fuselage design. The left fuselage is not human rated and thus will only house electronics.
The plane is propelled by six jet engines which have been salvaged from two s. Additional components from the s were also utilized, including landing gear, windows, avionics, and actuators. The wingspan of the carrier aircraft is a world record breaking feet meters — long enough for the Wright brothers to complete their historic flight three times. Additionally, it also makes the carrier wider than the Saturn V rocket is tall.
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In addition to the massive wingspan, Stratolaunch has a carrying capacity ofpoundskilograms and a 1, nautical mile mission radius. These metrics will enable up to three Pegasus rockets to be launched in a single flight.
They also create the potential for larger launch vehicles to be launched from the aircraft, as the plane is not exclusively designed for Pegasus. Chase plane pulls in tight before Roc passes directly overhead in flight test pattern.
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It also avoids many weather restrictions present in lower parts of the atmosphere and single engine 4 passenger plane more flexibility for launch inclinations than fixed launch pads.
The team also conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15, feet mean sea level. The airplane flew as predicted. Allen Trust.
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