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December 21, 2011
Stratolaunch Systems

Just months after NASA ended its shuttle program, Microsoft co-funder Paul Allen is investing his own money in a new venture to launch satellites*, people, and supplies into space.

Instead of relying in ground based rockets, Allen's Stratolaunch Systems would transport cargo into the atmosphere on a mammoth airplane and then blast it into space. The plane's wingspan will be more than 380 feet, and it will be powered by six engines culled from Boeing 747 jumbo jets. The first flight is planned within five years. The cost of funding construction of the new megaplane is expected to exceed the $25 million Allen sank into earlier rocket venture, SpaceShipOne, in 2004.

SOURCE: Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.

*Does this mean improvements for the GPS tracking industry and other industries that rely on satellites and space related activites? We shall see.

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