Apparently not satisfied with dominating the world's computer markets, Paul Allen is looking...up.

Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and aerospace pioneer/designer Burt Rutan have announced plans to develop and launch a giant airplane/spacecraft to transport people and cargo into space.  They are hoping to fill the void created by the end of NASA's shuttle program.    NASA officially retired the last of their shuttles, and now the United States has no way to get astronauts, scientists, or cargo into space.   The US now has to rely on foreign space programs such as French, Japanese and even Russian (gulp!) technology and rockets to get our satellites and other items beyond the earth's orbit.  The new program, called Stratolaunch, would be ready for unmanned testing in 2016, with another five years before it is operational.