Stratolaunch Systems Opens Hangar in Mojave

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Stratolaunch hangar under construction last year.

Stratolaunch hangar under construction last year in Mojave.

Stratolaunch Systems completed work on its large hangar at the Mojave Air and Space Port last Wednesday, opening it up for employees to begin to occupy, spaceport CEO Stu Witt said on Tuesday.

The hangar is designed to accommodate the rocket company’s carrier aircraft, which will have a wingspan of 385 feet. The aircraft will air-launch rockets that will place satellites into orbit.

Stratolaunch Systems opened an 88,000 square foot production building adjacent to the hangar in October. The facility is being used to construct the composite sections of the aircraft’s wings and fuselage.

The venture is being backed by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen. Partners include Mojave-based Scaled Composites, Dynetics and Orbital Sciences Corporation.

Witt told the spaceport’s Board of Directors that Riccomini Avenue, which provides access to Stratolaunch and Virgin Galactic facilities, has become so busy that it is beginning to experience something that is quite rare in the desert: traffic congestion.

Spaceport officials also are working with the California Highway Patrol to determine how to re-engineer one intersection where some motorists are having trouble heeding a stop sign. For some reason, some drivers are just not seeing it, Witt said.