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The world's largest aeroplane by wingspan has taken flight for the first time. Built by Stratolaunch, the company set up by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011, the aircraft is designed to act as a flying launch pad for satellites. The idea is to fly the plane to 10 km before releasing satellites into orbit. Stratolaunch Systems Corporation is an American space transportation venture developing a new air launch to orbit system, with its corporate headquarters located in Seattle, Washington. The project was officially announced in December 2011 by  Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, who had previously collaborated on the creation of SpaceShipOne. The project is a mobile launch system with three primary components; a carrier aircraft being built by Scaled Composites, a multi-stage payload "launch vehicle" which would be launched at high altitude into space from under the carrier aircraft, plus a mating and integration system by Dynetics. 

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