31 May '16, 6am

DARPA sets sights on Robotic Space Plane for next generation warfare

DARPA sets sights on Robotic Space Plane for next generation warfare

The experimental low-cost XS-1 will be able to fly at escape-velocity speeds and catapult 3,000-pound payloads into orbit – and it’ll be able to do it again and again. This week the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) solicited design proposals for a satellite-launching robotic space plane, signaling that development of the futuristic aerospace vehicle is all but assured. The Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) project aims to build a reusable space plane capable of flying ten times in ten days at a cost of less than $5 million per flight. The XS-1 would be used as a cheap way to quickly place satellites in orbit without the costly safety checks between flights required by current, non-reusable spacecraft. Three groups are involved in DARPA’s design efforts for the XS-1. This week’s announcement sets a deadline of July 22 for them to complete design pro...

Full article: http://www.defencetalk.com/darpa-sets-sights-on-robotic-s...

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