Paul Allen’s new mega-plane is the world’s largest

Stratolaunch derf5t1

The initial construction of the massive airplane Paul Allen has been quietly building in the California desert is complete, and the vehicle, which would be the world’s largest airplane with a wingspan wider than Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose, was wheeled out of its hangar for the first time on Wednesday.

Called Stratolaunch, the plane has some impressive stats: a wingspan of 385 feet, or longer than a football field, a height of 50 feet. Unfueled, it weighs 500,000 pounds. But it can carry 250,000 pounds of fuel, and its total weight can reach as high as 1.3 million pounds.

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Ultra-fast internet connection just launched into space

Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial space company, has just launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit carrying a Canadian Space Agency satellite, CASSIOPE. Part of the satellite’s payload is Cascade, a prototype for a super-fast space-borne file-transfer system—a kind of digital courier service.

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Japan launches affordable Epsilon rocket using artificial intelligence


Japan has launched a rocket, Epsilon, into space in what it hopes will be the start of cheaper space exploration.  The rocket is about half the size of normal rockets, and relies on artificial intelligence to do its final safety checks–meaning just eight people were at the launch site, rather than the 150 needed for previous launches. On board was the Sprint-A telescope, which was released 620 miles above the Earth’s surface, and which will be observing Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.



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SpaceX Grasshopper rocket successfully takes off and lands vertically

The Grasshopper rocket that you see in action in the video above is is a 10-story high test rocket that successfully completed its first test flight as part of the Space X project, taking off from a test field in Texas. The rocket can maneuver itself sideways and stay in place in the air 250 meters from ground level, before making a safe return to the launch platform by touching down vertically, too – thanks to its quartet of hydraulic-controlled steel and aluminum landing legs.


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SpaceX set to launch first commercial rocket to ISS


Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, stands in front of a Falcon 9 rocket at SpaceX’s launch site.

A Falcon 9 rocket will lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida tomorrow night.  The craft will rendezvous in low-Earth orbit with the International Space Station (ISS) a few days after it has been launched.

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