The world's biggest airplane has been shown to reporters in the United States.
The plane, called Stratolaunch, is set to begin testing in the coming weeks.
Stratolaunch weighs about 227,000 kilograms. It has the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever built. It measures 117 meters from one end to the other.
The plane has been kept inside a building in the California desert while being built. It was removed from its home, at the Mojave Air & Space Port, and shown to reporters on Wednesday.
To support its size and weight, Stratolaunch has 28 wheels. The plane can hold more than 113,000 kilograms of fuel. It is powered by six engines made for Boeing 747 aircraft.
The plane was built for Stratolaunch Systems, a business owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Allen started the company in 2011 with the hope of building aircraft to launch rockets into space.
Allen says he first became excited about space exploration after watching Russia's Yuri Gagarin become the first man to travel to space in 1961.
I would never have imagined that, more than 50 years later, access to low Earth orbit (LEO) would still be costly, complex and difficult, Allen wrote in a blog post. I am determined to change this to help maximize the potential of space to improve life here on Earth.
Stratolaunch Systems is attempting to ease LEO access and provide services such as launching satellites. The company entered a partnership with Scaled Composites to develop and build the new aircraft.
The satellite-carrying rockets are to be connected to the bottom of the plane. Once Stratolaunch reaches a height of about 10,000 meters, the rockets would be dropped, then "air launched" to space.
Stratolaunch Systems said the plane's airport-style launch system and ability to launch rockets over and over again will reduce costs for satellite companies. The plane will also cut wait times between launches and is able to avoid bad weather areas, the company said.
The aircraft is to begin fuel, ground and flight line tests in the coming weeks. The first actual launch demonstration is not expected before 2019.
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Tensions had eased.
1.Allen says he first became excited about space exploration after watching Russia's Yuri Gagarin become the first man to travel to space in 1961.
be/become excited about... 对……感到兴奋
This is why we are so excited about this research, he said.
You should be excited about your goals and the best way to do that is to align your goals with your life and passions.
2.Stratolaunch Systems is attempting to ease LEO access and provide services such as launching satellites.
attempt to do sth 试图做某事
These books attempt to explain why that is, and what, if anything, should be done about it.
“We shall attempt to answer it in this book, ” he wrote.
同温层发射重量达近22.7千克 。其翼幅堪称史上最长，达117米 。
这架飞机在建造期间一直放置于加州沙漠的一个建筑内 。现在，目前，该飞机已经从莫哈维太空站(Mojave Air & Space Port)内移出，并于周三在记者面前亮相 。
这架飞机有28个轮支持它的重量，能容纳11.3万多千克的燃料 。其6个发动机是波音747的同款 。
这架飞机的建造方是平流层发射系统公司，该公司的总裁兼创始人名为保罗 艾伦 。艾伦011年创建了这家公司，是希望能建造出可以将火箭发射到太空的飞机 。
艾伦表示，最初自己开始对空间探索狂热不已是在看了俄罗斯飞行员尤里 加加林(Yuri Gagarin)1961年成为空间探索第一人的视频之后 。
我没想到，50多年后的今天，进入近地轨道的成本依然这样高，复杂系数和难度也依然这样高，艾伦在博客中写道 。但我决心改变这一切，让宇宙潜能的探索达到最大化，改善人类的生活 。
平流层发射系统公司正在努力降低进入近地轨道的难度，并提供发射卫星等服务 。该公司还与缩尺复合体公司(Scaled Composites)合作，研发这样的新飞机 。
携带卫星的火箭将会连接在该飞机底部 。一旦同温层发射飞机到达1万米的高度，火箭就会离体，“从空中发射”到太空 。
平流层发射系统公司表示，其飞机场式的发射系统以及多次发射火箭的能力将降低卫星公司的成本 。这架飞机将减少火箭每次发射之间的等待时间，还能够躲避天气不好的地区，该公司如是表示道 。
该飞机将在几周后开始进行燃料、地面、航线的测试 。但要到2019年才能实现第一次真实的发射演示 。
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