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Stratolaunch's Monster Conducted Taxi Tests (video)

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posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:23 PM
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Stratolaunch is intending to do basically a modernized, very upgraded version of the Orbital ATK Pegasus. On steroids. With one of the biggest planes ever built.

Shown above is the mothership. And My gawd. Its huge. I wonder if its full of stars.


The question has been and continues to be: why?

It's a veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrryyyy kewl plane.

However, the need for the launcher is a bit of a puzzler. Yes, it is nice to get a custom orbit since the launcher can fly somewhere and just light off its rocket in the right plane. However, the need for that is pretty small. The other possibility is this is some sort of rapid launch capability. Unfortunately, there's no gov involvement and they rarely, rarely take off the shelf stuff.

Other than Allen liking Rutan, I'm a bit puzzled by this one.




posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: anzha

You should see it in person.

Air launchers are starting to see an increase. Orbital has their L1011, Virgin Galactic has their 747 they're testing, and this beast. It won't make launches cheap, but it will make them cheaper if you only want to launch a small satellite, or a couple small satellites.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Paul Allen's got the money to burn, and watching Bezos across the sound/lake/whatever have all the spacegoing fun is giving him rocket envy.

It'll be interesting to see how Stratolaunch performs, as a company, relative to SeaLaunch.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'd love to. At some point I will.

The air launchers are moving a touch too slow. The cost of the F9 is coming down and soon, it will hit the point where the sat makers will no longer care if the sat is a bit chubby and make them bigger.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: anzha

I've caught their dry run, first engine run, and first run of all 6. I missed the taxi testby a couple hours.

There's always going to be a small satellite use though. If you don't have a need to keep something up for years at a time, put up some cubesats. You aren't going to want an F9 for that.

Air launchers are going to be a niche market. They'll open up launch areas to anywhere with a long enough runway. You won't have to pay as much to move the satellite to the launch area, when the launch platform can come to your satellite.
edit on 2/26/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: anzha

And that's not counting what happens once New Glenn hits the market and the Falcon Heavy now has a direct competitor that can also throw big things into LEO and slightly smaller things into GSO off a 100% re-useable 1st stage. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it becomes the 21st century equivalent of Cunard vs White Star vs CGT vs NDL and they end up forcing each other to push the envelope and drop prices even more.

Either way, I wouldn't want to be working for ULA or on the SLS team right now.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Exactly. Companies like Iridium alone could keep Stratolaunch in the black if they get their launch costs down enough. Ditto for if they decide to go after the GPS (or similar) launch contracts. Stratolaunch could be perfect for replenishing constellations of smaller satellites.
edit on 26-2-2018 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: Barnalby
a reply to: Zaphod58
Stratolaunch could be perfect for replenishing constellations of smaller satellites.


Small “killer satellites” perhaps?

Illegal now, by treaties between governments, but who’s to say what the future might hold regarding “warfare” (call it “aggressive counter-marketing strategy”) between and/or among mega-corporations.

Control the “high ground” and you can control the battle. Control the battle and you get to write the narrative.

“Rollerball”, anyone?



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar

They're not illegal, unless they carry nuclear warheads. The space weapon treaty ONLY bans WMDs in orbit. Anything else is perfectly legal. You don't need a nuclear warhead on a killer satellite.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Thank you!

Good to know...I think!?!

The “non-nuclear” destruction of privately owned orbital assets might be a relevant point of international space-law in the very near future, if it isn’t already.

(I have to admit that when I first became interested in space law, the term had never been considered in relation to private businesses. Heck, we had to fit the FAA just to get permission to launch; the appropriate government infrastructure didn’t even exist yet)



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:07 PM
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I'm absolutely in awe of this aircraft it's like something out of a science fiction show, I swear I built something similar out of lego when I was a kid. But I must say it looks a little flimsy especially the middle section joining the two bodies. I presume it's gone through stress testing, I'd hate to see this fail. Such a unique looking aircraft ..



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

The center portion is the mounting for the rocket. It's reinforced six ways from Sunday.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:12 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Bhadhidar

They're not illegal, unless they carry nuclear warheads. The space weapon treaty ONLY bans WMDs in orbit. Anything else is perfectly legal. You don't need a nuclear warhead on a killer satellite.



Ummm...I'm thinking that in the not too distant future...those classifications have to change...

Anything of sufficient mass can become a kinetic kill vehicle and considered a WMD if shot down the gravity well...





YouSir



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: YouSir

Yes and no. Even the Rods From God aren't going to do much more damage than you can do with conventional weapons. The reason for the ban on nuclear weapons is warning time.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: YouSir

Yes and no. Even the Rods From God aren't going to do much more damage than you can do with conventional weapons. The reason for the ban on nuclear weapons is warning time.



Ummm...I was thinking of something launched or assisted from much further out than NEO...It's apparent we're going to take our territorial natures with us when we begin to colonize the Moon...Mars...and points further...

Electromag rails and sizable rocks would have enough kinetic energy to be considered WMD...

Obviously nothing to worry about in the near...but with China and Russia seeking to outpace the US for Moon bases then it may not be too hypothetical to consider...In times of war...treaties are sometimes the first casualties...


Edit to add:...I apologize Anzha for taking this off topic...





YouSir
edit on 26-2-2018 by YouSir because: Apologies are in order...



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: YouSir

You're talking about 50-100 years minimum. We can barely get a railgun to work and you're worried about mass drivers on the moon?


edit on 2/26/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I understand the structural engineering behind all of it and how Rutan's flying catamarans manage to be incredibly strong yet lightweight heavy lifters, but still, it will never stop looking "wrong" to my eyes.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 04:20 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

It does look weird. It's cool as hell though. Damn thing is a beast. You can see it clearly from a long way away.



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: YouSir

You're talking about 50-100 years minimum. We can barely get a railgun to work and you're worried about mass drivers on the moon?




Ummm...I'm not worried about anything...I don't operate from a position of worry or fear...I was merely trying to have a conversation ...

Wrong thread...wrong forum...

I apologize...







YouSir



posted on Feb, 26 2018 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Yeah, I'm pretty jealous. The coolest thing I get to see around here are the Northrop avionics test aircraft, though it's hilarious watching their Fokker leave smoke trails on climb out.



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