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New Operating System For Space: High-Tech Tycoons

By Donna Blankinship And Seth Borenstein

In this artist's rendering provided by Stratolaunch Systems, a planned plane that would launch cargo and astronauts into space is seen. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan are building the plane, in the latest of several ventures fueled by technology tycoons clamoring to write America's next chapter in spaceflight. Their plans, unveiled Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Seattle, call for a twin-fuselage aircraft with wings longer than a football field to carry a rocket high into the atmosphere and drop it, avoiding the need for a launch pad and the expense of additional rocket fuel. Allen, who teamed up with Rutan in 2004 to send the first privately financed, manned spacecraft into space, said his new project would "keep America at the forefront of space exploration" and give a new generation of children something to dream about. (AP Photo/Strautolaunch Systems)

In this artist's rendering provided by Stratolaunch Systems, a planned plane that would launch cargo and astronauts into space is seen. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan are building the plane, in the latest of several ventures fueled by technology tycoons clamoring to write America's next chapter in spaceflight. Their plans, unveiled Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Seattle, call for a twin-fuselage aircraft with wings longer than a football field to carry a rocket high into the atmosphere and drop it, avoiding the need for a launch pad and the expense of additional rocket fuel. Allen, who teamed up with Rutan in 2004 to send the first privately financed, manned spacecraft into space, said his new project would "keep America at the forefront of space exploration" and give a new generation of children something to dream about. (AP Photo/Strautolaunch Systems)


SEATTLE (AP) – The tycoons of cyberspace are looking to bankroll America’s resurgence in outer space, reviving “Star Trek” dreams that first interested them in science.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made the latest step, unveiling plans for a new commercial spaceship that, instead of blasting off a launch pad, would be carried high into the atmosphere by the widest plane ever built before it fires its rockets.

He joins Silicon Valley powerhouses Elon Musk of PayPal and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com Inc. in a new private space race that attempts to fill the gap left when the U.S. government ended the space shuttle program.

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Posted by FanSite on Jan 1st, 2012 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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