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World's Largest Plane Just Flew

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  • World's Largest Plane Just Flew

    The world's largest plane just flew for the first time

    ...
    (CNN) After years of development in the desert north of Los Angeles, a gigantic, six-engined mega jet with the wingspan of an American football field flew Saturday morning for the first time.


    "We finally did it," said Stratolaunch Systems CEO Jean Floyd at a news conference from the hangar at Mojave Air & Space Port. "It was an emotional moment to watch this bird take flight."

    Stratolaunch, the company founded in 2011 by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, conducted the first test flight of the world's largest plane.

    "I had imagined this moment for years, but I had never imagined it without Paul standing next to me," Floyd said, adding that he whispered a private "thank-you" to Allen as the plane took flight.
    ...
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/busin...ane/index.html


  • #2
    We are seeing private industry finally getting into the space delivery business and they're quickly moving to do it cheaper and faster than government ever could or did.

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    • #3
      Howard hughes just rolled over in his grave....

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      • #4
        Might this be one of it's payloads ???

        Dream Chaser Spacecraft

        About Dream Chaser

        SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft is a multi-mission space utility vehicle designed for transporting crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations such as the International Space Station.
        Our Dream Chaser spacecraft was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal service for the space station under the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. Dream Chaser will carry critical supplies like food, water, and science experiments and returns to Earth with a gentle runway landing. The spacecraft will provide a minimum of six cargo missions to and from the space station starting in late 2020.
        ...
        https://www.sncorp.com/what-we-do/dr...SAAEgJyRvD_BwE
        ...
        Sierra Nevada Corp. - Sparks, Nevada

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        • #5
          There are several payloads that are being proposed. One is an in-house booster that puts the satellite in low orbit. Another is a Space X recoverable booster for the same purpose. The Dream Chaser is a third, but has to be scaled down some to fit the Stratolauncher.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            We are seeing private industry finally getting into the space delivery business and they're quickly moving to do it cheaper and faster than government ever could or did.
            Actually they always did, unless you are not talking about the Soviet Space program. It's not like Nasa built the Saturn V or the Space Shuttle themselves, the private industry did. But you still need the State to coordinate and finance a project the scope of the Apollo program, for instance. Because private industry by themselves would lack the means and above all the will to do it. For delivering commercial satellites however the private industry will do fine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Proconsul View Post

              Actually they always did, unless you are not talking about the Soviet Space program. It's not like Nasa built the Saturn V or the Space Shuttle themselves, the private industry did. But you still need the State to coordinate and finance a project the scope of the Apollo program, for instance. Because private industry by themselves would lack the means and above all the will to do it. For delivering commercial satellites however the private industry will do fine.
              Certainly. But private industry built what the government wanted. That was the stifling of innovation since those in the government making decisions weren't overly concerned with costs or efficiency. Once there is a profit motive in space travel, private industry will start doing it with vigor. That point is now just beginning to be reached.
              Commercial satellites have a profit motive involved so those went to private industry earlier.

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              • #8
                ^ I seem to recall one of the astronauts back then making the quip of how reassuring it was to know you were launching into space on a vehicle built by the lowest bidder.

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                • #9
                  Hm, this complete distrust for the government seems an American thing... Not that governments don't deserve a hefty dose of distrust, but corporations deserve it too. For instance, a private spacecraft builder could well chose a lowest bidder subcontractor if they deemed the cost benefit worthy, and I'd bet astronaut safety wouldn't be uppermost in their calculations.

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