Commercial Access To Space: Soon Coming To An Orbit Near You?

[Excerpts] …Paul Allen has … a pioneering vision for commercial space travel. Allen, on Tuesday, unveiled designs for an efficient air-launch system that resembled a giant airplane split into two fuselages. The craft will take both government and commercial payloads into orbit, with human missions as an eventual goal.

…Allen funded the development of SpaceShipOne, the first manned private spaceflight.

The commercial space transport system will be built by Stratolaunch Systems, Allen’s new company. Burt Rutan, an aerospace engineer integral to the development of SpaceShipOne, will be helping Allen develop his new project. The billionaire believes that the carrier plane lifting rocket ships to higher altitude will be both safer and more cost-effective than launching a rocket from the ground.

Article: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/paul-allen-unveils-new-business-for-commercial-space-travel/

International Space Station: Animated Assembly Graphic

http://i.usatoday.net/tech/graphics/iss_timeline/flash.htm

International Space Station Animated Assembly Graphic