Just a few days after the death of Paul Allen, whose tech fortune has been paying for its development, the huge Stratolaunch airplane completed its latest round of taxi tests in Mojave. The airplane, designed to carry payloads into low Earth orbit, reached speeds up to 90 MPH, which the company called “medium-speed” taxi testing. It first rolled out of the hangar last May, and began taxi tests in December.
Stratolaunch has designed a family of launch vehicles that will be carried to high altitudes by the aircraft, and then will be deployed to carry satellites to orbit. The aircraft is expected to be in service by 2020.