Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Monday June 07, @11:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the speedy-delivery dept.

The Air Force confirmed a strong interest in delivery of cargo around the world—by rockets—during an hourlong conference call with reporters on Friday. Military officials said they were elevating the cargo initiative to become the newest "Vanguard Program," indicating a desire to move the concept from an experimental state into an operational capability.

"This idea has been around since the dawn of spaceflight," said Dr. Greg Spanjers, an Air Force scientist and the Rocket Cargo Program Manager. "It's always been an intriguing idea. We've looked at it about every 10 years, but it's never really made sense. The reason we're doing it now is because it looks like technology may have caught up with a good idea."

Ars first reported about the "Rocket Cargo" program in the Air Force's budget request on Monday. As part of its $200 billion annual budget, the Air Force is seeking $47.9 million to leverage emerging commercial rocket capabilities to launch cargo from one location and land elsewhere on Earth.

During Friday's call, the officials explained what they're looking for in more depth. "Fundamentally, a rocket can get around the world in 90 minutes, and an airplane cannot," Spanjers said.

The US Military is Starting to Get Really Interested in Starship

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Tuesday June 08, @12:35AM (2 children)

    by DECbot (832) on Tuesday June 08, @12:35AM (#1142976) Journal

    Crew and ammo won't change the numbers by too much in comparison to the mass of the tank. For re-entry, I doubt you can rely solely on parachutes. So, much of the deceleration will likely need to be powered. That will make rocket fuel the big variable for the mass calculations. Let's see, do you want a soft landing or an explosion on impact?

    cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Tuesday June 08, @01:17AM

    by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @01:17AM (#1142983)

    do you want a soft landing or an explosion on impact?

    Depends on the selected mode of operation, I'd say. There's an untapped market niche for combined transport+ICBM I think. And you can always count on the armed forces to spend ridiculous amounts of money on ridiculous projects.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @07:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @07:03AM (#1143053)

    Starship's infamous belly-flop manoeuvre uses air-brakes (the big wing-like flaps) to slow down during descent before a propulsive touchdown. This is designed to work with a full 100t payload. The biggest problems with hauling an Abrams would be standing it on end to fit in the cargo bay and bracing it for acceleration. Not impossible, but it would be hard on things.