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The Pentagon and SpaceX plan to deliver cargo to anywhere on Earth by rockets through space


SpaceX may soon expandfield of activity and return from heaven to Earth, partially switching to solving urgent problems on our planet. Representatives of the US Department of Defense are actively working with SpaceX engineers to develop a project related to sending military cargo through space around the world. Information about the ongoing developments was officially released by the head of the Pentagon's Transport Command.

Army General Stephen R. Lyons, with the optimism inherent in his partner Elon Musk, said that next year the United States would have the ability to quickly ship payloads through space to anywhere in the world.

As a demonstration of the capabilities of spaceThe general said that the payload of the American strategic military transport aircraft Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is delivered from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California to the Japanese island of Okinawa in 12 hours. SpaceX, meanwhile, can do the job in just 30 minutes.

The main advantages of such delivery, in addition tospeed, there will be no: the need to refuel in the air, the mandatory receipt of permission for flights over the territory of transit states and the need to "hide" from the enemy air defense system.

The disadvantage of the system is the long timeflight preparation. While the C-17 will take several hours to load and take off, the spacecraft still require lengthy multi-week preparation.

However, even more significant is the costsuch a parcel. So to move 25 tons using the Falcon 9, you will need to pay $ 28 million. Starship launch is estimated at $ 2 million per launch. Meanwhile, a C-17 flight from California to Japan costs only $ 312,000. And even the need to refuel using the KC-135 Stratotanker tanker aircraft results in a flight cost 4 times less than a space launch.

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the development of SpaceX's reusable systems is leading to a rapid reduction in the cost of flights, which may make such transport promising in the coming decades.

Two schemes are being worked out technicallytransportation of goods using space. According to the first option, the ship with cargo starts from the American cosmodrome and goes to a given point on the Earth. The second option, which resolves the issue of the launch preparation time, implies sending a certain cargo into orbit, where it will remain until the time it becomes necessary for a specific hot spot on the planet.

Source: airforcemag

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