Friday, August 07, 2015

Boeing to design reusable spaceplane to launch secret spy satellites and space weapons

The Daily Mail website is reporting that Boeing has been awarded a $6.6m contract to design a cheap, reusable mini shuttle that can launch military satellites. It is hoped the craft could quickly launch small satellites that could defend against the growing threat of Russian and Chinese space weapons

XS-1 could 'create a new paradigm for more routine, responsive and affordable space operations,' according to DARPA, the military research arm heading the project.
The XS-1 is an airplane-like vehicle that can fly to the edge of Earth's atmosphere and quickly boost small satellites into orbit, and then land, refuel, load up another satellite, and take off again within 24 hours. 

"Developing a vehicle that launches small payloads more affordably is a priority for future U.S. Defense Department operations,' said Steve Johnston, director of Boeing's Phantom Works Advanced Space Exploration division when the oritinal funding was revealed. 
"Boeing brings a combination of proven experience in developing launch systems and reusable space vehicles, along with unparalleled expertise in the development and fielding of highly operable and cost-effective transportation systems."

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