The massive Stratloaunch aerial launch platform took to the air on Thursday for the first time since its initial flight in April 2019. The test flight, which lasted approximately 3 hours and ten minutes, departed from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port at about 7:30 a.m. local time. According to the company, the flight was successful and all results were as expected. Thursday’s flight is also the first for the aircraft since Stratolaunch was sold to Cerberus Capital Management in October 2019 following the death of company founder Paul Allen.
The dual-fuselage, six-engine Stratolaunch carrier, now named Roc, was designed to ferry multiple vehicles each weighing up to 500,000 pounds to altitudes of around 35,000 feet for launch. Built in partnership with Scaled Composites, it has a 385-foot wingspan and maximum takeoff weight of 1.3 million pounds. Stratolaunch is also developing the Talon-A hypersonic testbed, up to three of which can be launched from the carrier at a time.