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Paul Allen / Twitter

The Stratolaunch carrier, built by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Systems, has the longest wingspan of any aircraft ever built — and it just rolled out of its supersized hangar for the first time to begin its first fueling, engine, and taxi tests before its first flight test later this year, per Popular Mechanics.

Put in perspective: The 500,000-pound, six-engined Stratolaunch carrier's wingspan is 385 feet. That's 25 feet longer than the length of a football field.

Its purpose: The aircraft is designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere, where it'll drop them before they fire and launch into space. It's could improve the reliability and cost-effectiveness of orbital spaceflight, but the aircraft's first launch test isn't scheduled until 2019.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all private companies.

Why it matters: De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the "first-in-the-nation measure" will go into effect starting Dec. 27. It will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

5 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.