Burt Rutan

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World's Biggest Plane to Rocket People into Space

Paul Allen project might be ready for tests in 2016

(Newser) - The world's biggest plane, with wings longer than a football field, is being built to launch astronauts and cargo into outer space. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and aerospace innovator Burt Rutan have teamed up to create the gargantuan aircraft, which will work by hauling a rocket high into the... More »

Space Plane Takes First Test Flight

Mothership and spaceship flew for 3 hours in 'captive carry' test

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took to the skies for the first time yesterday over the Mojave Desert, an important step toward passenger flights in space in 2011. “This is a momentous day,” says Burt Rutan, who built the craft and its mothership for Richard Branson’s company. The... More »

Branson's Aircraft: Beyond Space Tourism

Applications include satelites, drones and studying climate change

(Newser) - Though space tourism is an exciting feat in itself, it’s just the beginning of the possibilities for Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two, the Economist notes. The carbon-composite plane doubles as a spaceship’s first stage, and is capable of launching satellites, transporting replacement engines, and facilitating the study... More »

Branson Rolls Out Space Plane

Craft could make first commercial flight—at $200K per ticket—by decade's end

(Newser) - At a remote airfield in the Mojave Desert today, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson unveiled the flagship of his new venture, an aircraft that will carry the first passenger space rocket to its launch height of 48,000 feet, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tickets are going for $200,000-plus,... More »

Space Tourism Gets New 2-Seater

Calif. company is second aiming to take passengers to new heights

(Newser) - California's XCor Aerospace is jumping aboard the space-tourism bandwagon with a new rocket plane, the Los Angeles Times reports. For $100,000, one passenger at a time will be able to ride the Lynx to 200,000 feet and feel about 90 seconds of weightlessness. With flight tests beginning in... More »

Branson Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Double-hulled plane will carry rocket to high altitude

(Newser) - Richard Branson has unveiled the ship that will carry paying passengers to space. Slightly different from its original prototype, SpaceShipTwo will be carried to high altitude by a double-hulled plane called White Knight, where the rocket will then separate and launch. Branson's Virgin Galactic startup hopes to start test flights... More »

3 Dead in Space Center Blast

(Newser) - A third person has died from injuries suffered in an explosion at a Mojave Desert airport where part of billionaire Richard Branson's private space program is being developed, AP reports. The blast occurred during testing of a nitrous oxide propellant system for a space tourism vehicle. Three people were hospitalized,... More »

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