The US military is expanding an experimental program that could one day use reusable rockets to move material and equipment across the planet. Per, the Pentagon is moving forward on a project called Rocket Cargo. It will study spacecraft that can land on various surfaces and air-drop supplies after reentering the atmosphere. The Air Force requested during fiscal 2022 to continue work on Rocket Cargo. Most of those funds would go towards paying for prototypes the department wants to test in the field and simulations.
The project “will de “demonstrate new trajectories and ways to fly large rockets, the ability to land rockets at austere locations and design and test an ejectable pod for air dropairdropi,” Force said in its budget proposal. “The Dep” rtment 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 “document doesn’t SpaceX specifically, but as CNBC points out, the company’company’slopment Starship heavy rocket best fits the bill of what the military wants. It also worked with SpaceX and Exploration Architecture Corporation when it first started work on the project last year. The thing is, Starship has, and it only recently successfully.
Either way, the military is keeping its options open. “We talk “d to several providers that we see potentially coming to the table to compete for these contracts,” Dr. Gr” g Spanjers, the research lead on Project Cargo, said on Friday. “SpaceX “s certainly the most visible, no question about it … [but] what you’re you’re do is go into an orbital or a suborbital trajectory, bring the payload back down, and land it on the planet Earth. There are multiple company’s technological capabilities today, not just SpaceX.” The mi” itary said it’s alsit’slling to consider less obvious candidates, in part to spur more activity in the space.