Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the world, and probably has a lot to answer for when it comes to global power consumption and social responsibility. While founder Bill Gates has done his part for the less fortunate by reportedly donating $28 billion to charity, his co-founder Paul Allen hasn’t made any kind gestures quite as large. In fact, it was recently reported that Allen put $13 billion behind a project that will see the construction of the world’s largest plane, the Stratolaunch. The massive plane will measure larger than The Spruce Goose, and be designed to carry rockets to high altitude.

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Now Allen famously likes things big – he owns two sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, and he loves the lavish lifestyle. His private yacht, The Octopus, is one of the largest in the world at 127 meters, and it even comes equipped with two helicopters, two submarines, a swimming pool, a music studio and a basketball court. However, with the energy crisis getting worse, shouldn’t Allen be investing in issues with a real-world, ground-level impact?

The Stratolaunch project was conceived to act as a launch platform for a rocket to carry payloads into space. With the aid of this massive plane, Allen aims to launch massive rockets in mid-air and deliver much larger cargo to orbit. Now, this could save the amount of fuel needed to launch payloads into space, but then again it is not likely that the Statrolaunch plane will run on biofuels.

While we recognize the benefits of space exploration, and agree with Allen’s sentiments that this innovative solution will revolutionize space travel, we can’t help but wonder if there is a greener alternative to a twin-hulled air leviathan with six jumbo jet engines, weighing in at 1.2 million pounds.

And Allen isn’t the only billionaire on board — PayPal’s Elon Musk also looking to invest in the scheme. We just wonder whether these people who have all these riches would be willing to make investments that could make a bigger difference. After all, Stratolaunch will still use massive engines that will undoubtedly run on a significant amount of fossil fuels. Perhaps these billionaires could invest in a fusion research project instead?

+ Stratolaunch

Via The Register