On Saturday, the world's largest Stratolaunch aircraft, manufactured by Stratolaunch Systems, took off for the first time from the Mojave, California spaceport. The flight lasted two and a half hours and ended with a successful landing. The dimensions of the car speak for themselves: the weight is about 227 tons, the wingspan is 117 meters.
The Stratolaunch is a two-body aircraft designed for high-altitude launches of launch vehicles. They are discharged at an altitude of over 10, 000 meters, after which the first stage engines are launched and spacecraft are launched into low-earth orbit. The first flight took place without load.
Orders for its further use will largely depend on how the flight tests of the Stratolaunch will pass. The company already has one customer. This is Northrop Grumman, which plans to use Stratolaunch to launch its Pegasus XL rocket into space.