Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen owns a company called Vulcan Aerospace. Vulcan Aerospace’s unit Stratolaunch Systems, just rolled out the world’s largest aircraft that will directly put satellites into orbit around the Earth much quicker and with lower costs than traditional rocket launches from the surface.

We’re excited to announce that Stratolaunch aircraft has reached a major milestone in its journey toward providing convenient, reliable, and routine access to low-Earth orbit,” Stratolaunch Systems Corp. CEO Jean Floyd said in a statement. “This marks the completion of the initial aircraft-construction phase and the beginning of the aircraft ground- and flight-testing phase.”

The Stratolaunch carrier plane is designed to launch rockets into orbit from an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,100 meters). Initially, the plane will carry a single Pegasus XL rocket built by Orbital ATK, but the craft will eventually be able to carry up to three of those boosters simultaneously, Floyd said –

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Image courtesy of Paul Allen 

Oh by the way, Paul Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks NFL team and the Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise.

Featured image by Stratolaunch Systems