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

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/the-military-wants-to-use-rockets-for-cargo-delivery-anywhere-on-earth/

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.

Previously:
The US Military is Starting to Get Really Interested in Starship


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @01:44AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @01:44AM (#1142990)

    Instead of wasting our nation's treasure on even more polluting transportation than any in use today, and at stratospheric cost, imagine if we entered the club of civilized nations where taxes paid for useful things like universal health care and no cost post-secondary education (i.e., invest in our young people).

    The US military is one of the largest pig troughs of corporate welfare in the country.

    The US military is also the last bastion of personal welfare in the country. Too dumb/unmotivated to go to university or to get a job? The US military wants you! The military will pay you to do worthless busywork all day while telling you that you are not a worthless loser on welfare-- maybe you are delusional, and believe it. Sometimes you might be asked to murder brown children and other brown people around the world for dubious reasons (usually related to stealing their natural resources, or crushing democracies and installing brutal far-right dictatorships). If you get an opportunity to become a murderer, you will graduate from, "not a worthless loser on welfare" all the way up to, "hero".

    -MAGA-

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  • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday June 08, @01:58AM (6 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday June 08, @01:58AM (#1142992)

    Tell us how you really feel.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:32AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:32AM (#1143003)

      I really feel like ... burrito?

      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday June 08, @01:04PM

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @01:04PM (#1143108)

        No, I feel like Chicken Tonight! [youtube.com]

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday June 08, @02:13PM (3 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @02:13PM (#1143125) Journal

        Trump promised that if Hillary had won the 2016 election there would end up being a taco truck on every street corner.

        Where is my taco truck?

        --
        Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @04:15PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @04:15PM (#1143181)

          Yours is scheduled to be the first Tesla Taco Truck(tm) in space.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday June 08, @04:33PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday June 08, @04:33PM (#1143189) Journal

          I don't know about you, but there are lots of Taco trucks around these parts.

          --
          Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday June 08, @04:41PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @04:41PM (#1143191) Journal

            Not here unfortunately.

            --
            Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Immerman on Tuesday June 08, @03:08PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday June 08, @03:08PM (#1143151)

    Actually it's likely to be a relatively low-pollution option: They're burning an oxygen-rich methane blend, which pretty much means the exhaust is pure water vapor and CO2, with none of the nasty shit produced burning more complex hydrocarbons like jet fuel or [shudder] bunker fuel in ships. They're also spending most the trip coasting above the atmosphere, meaning they don't need to waste massive amounts of extra fuel fighting air resistance the whole way.

    As I recall, several people have run the numbers for the eventual sub-orbital passenger flights SpaceX has been touting, and determined that the CO2 emissions per passenger-mile would actually be less than for an intercontinental airplane flight. Potentially *much* less.

    It seems unlikely that they'd be synthesizing their own methane in the quantities needed for frequent flights, at least early on, but if they did that the whole flight would actually become carbon-neutral.