Aiming to return to a time when the U.S. can fly its own astronauts into space — or anyone else with money enough to buy a ride — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his SpaceShipOne partner, experimental aircraft designer Burt Rutan, plan to use the equivalent of two 747-400s to airlift a Falcon 9 derivative launcher for drop-launches into orbit by the end of the decade. “Since the success of SpaceShipOne, I have thought a lot about how to take the next big step, a private orbital ...


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