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Stratolaunch space company denies rumors it's closing down

The space vehicle launch company was started up by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
stratolaunch-2019-6

Stratolaunch could be shutting its doors.

Stratolaunch

The space vehicle launch company owned by the late Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft , has confirmed that it's still operational, following a report that it was closing shop.

Earlier Friday, Reuters said four sources told it that Stratolaunch Systems Corporation would be closing down.

Stratolaunch has been developing a series of space launch vehicles including a super-sized aircraft. In August 2018, the company unveiled a lineup of vehicles.

Meet the Stratolaunch, the world's largest airplane

See all photos

The Stratolaunch plane was designed to launch a Pegasus XL rocket, with the company also designing three other launch vehicles including a three-core rocket that would carry 15 times the Pegasus payload, and a medium launch vehicle.

The company founded by Allen, who passed away in Oct. 2018, is also working on a plane to carry humans into space.

"Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight," Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said last year.

The Stratolaunch vehicles are all smaller than Elon Musk's SpaceX rockets, with the former company aiming to enable "convenient, affordable, routine, airline-style access to space that empowers the world's problem solvers, so that they can collect rich and actionable data and drive advancements in science, research, and technology from space."

Originally published May 31, 3:18 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:15 p.m. PT: Adds comments from Stratolaunch; first published under the headline, "Stratolaunch space company reportedly shutting down."