Path 27
News

Elon Musk's SpaceX Teaming Up with the US Air Force to Deliver Cargo Anywhere in the World

Path 27

The U.S. Air Force submitted its roughly $200 billion budget with an interesting line item. It wants to deliver 100 tons of payload anywhere on Earth in under an hour.

The 462-page behemoth lists this interesting line item on Page 305:

“The Department of the Air Force seeks to leverage the current multi-billion dollar commercial investment to develop the largest rockets ever, and with full reusability to develop and test the capability to leverage a commercial rocket to deliver AF cargo anywhere on the Earth in less than one hour, with a 100-ton capacity.”

The Air Force is budgeting $47.9 million for this capacity, which would be a significant ability to land 100 tons anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.

Although the budget document does not mention SpaceX by name, the only rocket that is fully reusable with a 100-ton capacity that could possibly meet the Air Force’s requirements is Elon Musk’s forthcoming SpaceX Starship.

Trending:
House Dem Suggests Punishing Catholic Church if Biden Is Denied Communion

To date, prototype versions of the Starship have flown nine times, with eight of those resulting in explosions.

The most recent test did have the desired result — the 16-story-tall rocket made it 33,000 feet up before belly-flopping and landing on its own power. It was a tremendous sight.



The Air Force’s use of SpaceX’s Starship is not to reach full orbit, but rather to quickly land heavy cargo payloads around the world.

Do you favor the Air Force working with SpaceX on this program?

The budget document explained that the $47.9 million will also cover “novel loadmaster designs to quickly load/unload a rocket, rapid launch capabilities from unusual sites, characterization of potential landing surfaces and approaches to rapidly improve those surfaces, adversary detectability, new novel trajectories, and an S&T investigation of the potential ability to air drop a payload after reentry.”

Such a launch system would give the Air Force the ability to move large amounts of cargo anywhere in the world but also might further infuriate the Russian space industry, which finds itself falling further and further behind.

Earlier Monday, Russia threatened to leave the International Space Station by 2025 if certain sanctions were not lifted.

Reuters reported that “Moscow was struggling to launch some of its satellites because of U.S. sanctions which meant Russia could not import certain microchip sets needed for its space programme.”

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said, “We have more than enough rockets but nothing to launch them with.”

Related:
'It Got Me': Biden Tangles with a Rogue Cicada as He Heads to Tangle with Putin

“We have spacecraft that are nearly assembled but they lack one specific microchip set that we have no way of purchasing because of the sanctions,” Rogozin continued.

The U.S. and European Union placed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Also, cyberattacks and election meddling have brought additional sanctions.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told CNN last week that if Russia abandons the space station, it could start a new space race.

“If Russia pulls out, it would not be good,” Nelson said simply.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , ,
Path 27
Eric Nanneman is a business and technology writer with more than 20 years of investment and banking experience, including stints at Bank of America, Charles Schwab, and Goldwater Bank. He was previously securities registered, holding the Series 7, 63, 9 and 10 FINRA licenses.
Eric Nanneman is a business and technology writer with more than 20 years of investment and banking experience, including stints at Bank of America, Charles Schwab, and Goldwater Bank. He was previously securities registered, holding the Series 7, 63, 9 and 10 FINRA licenses.

He graduated from Arizona State and the Pontifical College Josephinum with degrees in English and philosophy. He has one adult son and resides in Phoenix.




loading

Conversation