Stratolaunch completes taxi test

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Watch the world’s largest aircraft achieve 90mph (145km/h) during its latest taxi tests this month.

The dual-fuselage “launch platform” has a wingspan of 385ft (117 m) and will drop-launch rockets that will carry satellites at an altitude of 35,000ft (10,700m). The first rocket to be used on the launch system, the Pegasus, is scheduled to be in use by 2020 and will be able to carry payloads of up to 370kg (815 lb).

Meanwhile, Virgin Orbit continues to make progress on its launch system and has recently conducted a fit check of its LauncherOne rocket to its airborne launch platform, which is a customized 737. The company plans to conduct the first flight test of its launch system, which is designed to carry payloads of up to 300kg into orbit, before the end of this year.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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