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USAF leadership making some curious statements about Space.

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posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: grey580

Hehe, well I won't speculate on that :-)

What I do think is interesting though is that some pretty outlandish things are being openly and brazenly thrown around by some pretty serious people.

Steve Justice, to name one. He is not someone tinkering in a garage, and yet there he is talking about Alcubierre drives and folding space..? You almost have to take notice. A former program manager at Skunk Works?

Maybe they need us to really start to believe it can be done so that someone will discover how to do it?

I mean, the discrepancy between what Musk is doing with his (awesome, I admit) reusable rockets is stone age stuff compared to what Justice is talking about.




posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 09:43 AM
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To add to the seeming disparity between the supposed premier space agency, NASA, and the Air Force, there is also an interesting press release from the Air Force about how NASA is consulting with the USAF about medical implications of deep space travel in humans.

Air Force, NASA seek potential medical collaboration .

It is interesting that it is the USAF and not NASA who seem to be on the cutting edge here.

Here is another article from military.com.

In this second article it also seems like it is NASA who are going to the USAF for insights and capabilities.

If nothing else, this also might also be a good indication that the USAF is gearing up to "do something" manned in space at some point.
edit on 8-2-2019 by beetee because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 09:57 AM
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If you had a decently sized fleet of unmanned satellites that were more in the X-37C class size-wise, you could both have a sensor platform and conventional weapons delivery (maybe some forms of EA, as well) platform that might occasionally need refueling depending on how long we left them up there and how often we move them about. Sensor capability is really taking off. Weapons delivery would present nontrivial problems, but we've got decades of experience to draw from, and technology might have bridged many gaps. If we can start bringing lb-to-orbit prices down (Blue Orgin, SpaceX), I can see where exploiting that domain becomes more attractive than the air-breathing route for many high-risk missions involving near-peer or peers. They'd be the new door-kickers tasked with taking out well protected, high-value targets (large UHF radar facilities, static ABM and IAD sites, for example). I don't think we're that far away if SpaceX and co can continue to deliver.

We can all laugh at Tyler though. We won't be dropping tankers from LEO to refuel B-21's.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 11:40 AM
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originally posted by: beetee
a reply to: penroc3



why do the powers that be pretend the tech isn't available to them?


I think, if there are such assets, that the very notion that it is possible to do this would be jealously guarded. I don't know how they would do it, apart from some notions on LTA platforms which might conceivably work in conjunction with some other propulsion system, but I think it is clear from history that once the cat is out of the bag, others will soon breed cats of their own. Maybe it is very exotic and carries other potentially disruptive technologies with it.

Maybe it is that what you don't know to exist, you won't look for, and what you don't look for you won't find?



Another possibility is “What you dismiss as trivial, or out-of-date conceptually, you don’t bother to look for, and therefore, never find”.

There’s little need to “jealously guard” something nobody is interested in because it seems too, well, silly, to consider: aircraft carriers made out of icebergs for example.

But sometimes an outlandish idea can be the basis of a practical solution.

Successful military campaigns often depend on the efficiency and security of their supply lines, hence the importance of air tankers to conduct extended flight operations over an area of conflict.

But conventional tankers are large, slow, and vulnerable; sitting ducks if they must remain close to the battle-space to optimize the supply line.

However, if you could position not just a tanker, but an entire fuel dump over the battlefield in such a way to ensure both rapid supply AND (relative) asset invulnerability, you would have a significant operational advantage.

How to do this?

LTA platforms, and “Near-Space” operations.

Not LEO, because you can’t afford to be accessible to the battlefield once every 90 minutes or so as a LEO orbit would dictate, but hovering in near-space, in the mesosphere, say, above the battlespace, ever present to preserve the supply line, but high above any likely threat the opposition might launch.

Your floating mesosphereic fuel dump could then simply drop expendable, autonomous “tanker-drones”, robotic gas cans with wings, to the fighters below on demand.

I believe the Rand Corporation once conducted a study regarding the military use of the near-space realm.

No sexy exotic propulsion technology required.

In fact, that was one of the reasons most people paid so little attention to the concepts; sexy attracts money.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar

LTA is more vulnerable than conventional tanker, no matter how high.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:30 PM
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I would think that the Navy would be more bothered by a "Space Force." I always got the impression that they considered that their territory as an extension of the seas. They certainly have their own aircraft and missile force. And if anybody's flying those big triangle ships around, it's probably them.

But, hey. There has always been friction between the various services, if for nothing else than who gets the tax money.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:32 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert
a reply to: Bhadhidar

LTA is more vulnerable than conventional tanker, no matter how high.


Conventional thinking.

Mesospheric operations have the advantages of low visibility, “high-ground” situational awareness for self-defense, and greater payload capacity than conventional assets.

Furthermore, due to the extremely high operational altitude of such assets, they are effectively beyond the range of any threat most opposition forces could deploy, excepting of course those advanced by the superpowers.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:55 PM
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You guys do realize high altitude vehicles can only carry a miniscule payload, right?

Bu60-1 from JP Areospace (which currently holds the world record at 53km, barely scratching the mesosphere) has an internal volume of 60.000m³ and a payload capacity of less than 5kg. Your run in the mil tanker carries 20.000 times that.


edit on 8-2-2019 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

orrrr the secret service



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:16 PM
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Marking for later



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar

And when they have to come all the way down into that threat environment to actually refuel anything?



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

i think his idea is having a hard body LTA as a large deposit for fuel with smaller drones to deliver the fuel.


but as soon as the people your bombing figure out the fuel radi of the other aircraft they will be able to guesstimate where the tanker is(granted the use of smaller drones for delivery would obscure its true position).

With modern weapons like the US's standard missile and the russians S-3&400 systems even things in near space aren't safe, a huge flying ziplock bag of fuel would be quite the tasty target.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

“They” wouldn’t come down themselves.

Hence the robotic “gas can drones”.

The drones wouldn’t need to carry any more fuel than required for one fighter, more maneuverable than a large, heavy conventional tanker, and they would be essentially expendable.

Just an idea that was tossed about a couple decades ago.

edit on 8-2-2019 by Bhadhidar because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

You’re looking at very early development prototypes.

Much larger vehicles are planned, with much larger capacities.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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originally posted by: Bhadhidar
a reply to: Zaphod58

“They” wouldn’t come down themselves.

Hence the robotic “gas can drones”.

The drones wouldn’t need to carry any more fuel than required for one fighter, more maneuverable than a large, heavy conventional tanker, and they would be essentially expendable.

Just an idea that was tossed about a couple decades ago.


A constellation of LEO modular tanks could do the same and would be far less vulnerable. i am not saying practical, just less vulnerable at least until they drop out of orbit to prep for refueling.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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a reply to: penroc3


In any head to head conflict between superpowers, it is likely that primarily strategic assets will be deployed.

Things like tankers and supply ships will only come into play after the major shooting is done.

If there is anyone left to play.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 02:19 PM
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originally posted by: mightmight
You guys do realize high altitude vehicles can only carry a miniscule payload, right?

Bu60-1 from JP Areospace (which currently holds the world record at 53km, barely scratching the mesosphere) has an internal volume of 60.000m³ and a payload capacity of less than 5kg. Your run in the mil tanker carries 20.000 times that.



And the higher you go, the less you can carry because air density decreases. You'll need to displace even more air as you get higher for the same weight. But more volume is even more structural weight. There is a razor-thin margin on how much displacement you can increase to gain payload at higher altitudes.
So you'll probably need to produce lift, a difficult task in the thin air. It will also require propulsion (that needs to work in the really thin air). And, of course, in this scenario you need drones capable of operating here, and the ability to carry them. All of that cuts even further into your useful payload.

Even if we get a miles long vehicle with twenty times the useful payload made of exotic material, it's going to have to refuel continually, because 20 tanker flights are spit in a bucket. So it's got to come down and refuel. Or even more drones going up to refuel it continually, at which point, what is the point of this flying depot? If we have drones with a useful payload (and even more when we eliminate all the mesospheric requirements), what benefit is this miles long vulnerable cradt bringing to the table?

And we have to deal with station-keeping in extreme winds even though we're above what we'd consider weather. Not easy with that giant volume acting like a big sail, and inefficient propulsion due to rare air.


Even if we pretend it's stealthy (it can't be because it will have to be communicating with drones and the ground), it's not survivable.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

jub exactly

bottom line, potentially great ISR assets, unusable for any kind of refueling mission



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

you could use a rigid body and use a solar cell type skin and high density energy storage with electric propulsion, low noise and low IR signatures, it would be an effective way to stay on station and even help with lift. Heck if you wanted to get fancy you could beam power to it from a microwave transmitter on a satellite that way you would always have power and during the day you could just use the solar cells to charge up batteries for the systems on the ship or weapons.

you could use electrolysis to refill the blimp with hydrogen with the exase power and the only reason you would have to bring it down would be major retrofits.

the drones that it used to fuel the other aircraft would be used to refuel the blimp.

also using the normal air/thermal currents would help with staying high up.

it would still be quite the feat to make it survivable in a serious threat environment.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 02:50 PM
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originally posted by: penroc3
a reply to: Blue Shift

orrrr the secret service

Well, probably not the Secret Service, since their mission is mostly to protect the President. But certainly a "conspiracy" among various intelligence gathering agencies, CIA, NSA, TSA, and of course, The Office Of Planetary Protection.



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