That’s one more not-so-small step for Stratolaunch’s giant airplane: The space venture’s founder, software billionaire Paul Allen, is showing off a 34-second video of the twin-fuselage aircraft as it aced its first taxi test on the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
Allen said the test was conducted Saturday, marking a rare outing for the plane that’s destined to serve as a flying platform for launching rockets into space. In tonight’s tweet, he promised that there’d be “more to share soon”:
Allen, one of Microsoft’s co-founders, created Stratolaunch six years ago as a follow-up to the SpaceShipOne private spaceflight venture he backed in Mojave. The program has gone through a series of strategic twists and turns, but the fact that the plane has begun rolling down the runway suggests it could start flight tests in earnest next year.