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posted by Fnord666 on Monday June 07 2021, @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

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  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday June 08 2021, @04:45PM

    by Freeman (732) on Tuesday June 08 2021, @04:45PM (#1143193) Journal

    Again, it would be great for quick deployment, not to a hot combat zone. It would definitely not be used against a country/nation that is technologically advanced enough to shoot it down or who could mistake it for a nuclear missile and do something about it. Direct delivery of a hundred tons of equipment in a few hours from USA to the other side of the world is a killer tactic. The speed of deployment could be greatly increased with a fleet of Starships. We're talking a matter of hours for a "small" strike force (ones that could include tanks) to the other side of the world. How long does it take us to ship a single tank that far as of now? How many stops would be needed and/or mid-air refuels with current tech? In the event you can do a single shot delivery with a starship, you're vastly improving deployment time. Especially, if your other option is sending everything by boat.

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