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Stratolaunch: Biggest Aircraft in History to Launch Spaceships (Infographic)

Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Systems plans to build a giant carrier vehicle in order to air-launch rockets to Earth orbit.
Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Systems plans to build a giant carrier vehicle in order to air-launch rockets to Earth orbit. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

Billionaire investor Paul Allen has unveiled a new company, Stratolauch Systems, to provide private rocket launches into Earth orbit from a giant aerial launch platform made up of the biggest airplane in history. The novel launch system will use a giant twin-boom airplane with a wingspan longer than a football field and launch a rocket and space capsule designed by the private spaceflight company SpaceX. See how the Stratolaunch system stacks up in the SPACE.com infographic above. 

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Karl Tate
Karl Tate

Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.