An enormous aircraft designed to launch rockets into space from high altitude has rolled out of its hangar at Mojave Air & Space Port in the desert northeast of Los Angeles for the first time.
The Stratolaunch will undergo initial tests that center on filling the giant's six fuel tanks. Engineers will make sure the tanks are properly sealed and that any related components are working properly. The Stratolaunch will then go back in the hangar for weight and balance tests before flight operations and the first launch demonstration, expected in 2019,
The striking behemoth of a plane is a project spearheaded by billionaire U.S. business magnate Paul G. Allen in 2011. The photos below show the aircraft outside its California hangar in May 2017.
The Stratolaunch, an aircraft designed for airborne rocket launches, is rolled out of its hangar May 31, 2017 in the desert northeast of Los Angeles. The aircraft will undergo fuel tank tests before it's moved back in the hangar for more tests. A demonstration test launch is expected in 2019.