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Marines in Space

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posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 03:04 PM
I'm pretty sure that someone posted something about this some while back and I'm pretty sure that I was one of the skeptics, but it does seem that the Marine Corps is serious about this.

Although the chuckle factor hasn't altogether disappeared, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Darpa are beginning a study of options for a reusable upper-stage space travel vehicle -- the same kind of technology that the Marines might need for a ride halfway across the globe.

The effort is called "Hot Eagle," and it could be the first step forward in the Marine Corps' hopes for space travel. Within minutes of bursting into the atmosphere beyond the speed of sound -- and dispatching that ominous sonic boom -- a small squad of Marines could be on the ground and ready to take care of business within 2 hours. [One presentation muses that the capsule might later be picked up by a Osprey or by a "balloon cable and C-17" transport plane. Or, the Marines might "hike out," and "leave [the] crew capsule behind." -- ed.]

The Marine Corps calls the concept the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion Capability (Sustain). This plan, a growing group of Marine supporters say, is the natural evolution of the service's proclivity for expeditionary warfare that began decades ago with amphibious landings...

The concept is to deliver strategic equipment or a small squad of soldiers to any point on the globe -- even the most hard-to-reach location -- within hours of need. Once on the ground, those soldiers can carry out strategically critical missions like reconnaissance or destroying a specific target.

Unlike the Air Force, Navy and Army, all three of which sponsor expensive satellite programs, the cash-strapped Marines are pushing just one space concept. It's called Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion, or SUSTAIN, and it's a reusable spaceplane meant to get a squad of Marines to any hotspot on Earth in two hours -- then get them out. The idea is to reinforce embattled embassies, take out terrorist leaders or defuse hostage situations before it's too late. "The Marine Corps needs [this] capability," Brig. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer told Congress in 2004.

"The Corps has always been an expeditionary force, a force of readiness, a 911 force," Wassink says. "All SUSTAIN is, is a requirement to move Marines very rapidly from one place to another. Space lends itself to that role."

Spaceplanes -- that is, craft that take off and land like airplanes but achieve low orbit using rocket motors -- aren't science fiction anymore. In 2004, Burt Rutan's Space Ship One snared the $10 million X-Prize by demonstrating that a relatively cheap and simple vehicle could get a man into low orbit in two stages and return him safely. Air Force Brig. Gen. S. Pete Worden said Rutan's bird offers a glimpse of a future military space transport. “It’s just a scaled-up version of that that would do this [SUSTAIN] mission."

A realistic IOC date for SUSTAIN would thus be between 2035 and 2045. From the present until then, one can expect that the problems of materials, flight controls, and propulsion that now doom any near-term RLV effort will be solved. Just as similar problems on the V-22 were taken care of by advances in computer technology and engine design, a small-scale but long-term effort to take advantage of future technological progress could realistically lead to a decision to go ahead with the development of a SUSTAIN-type vehicle sometime around 2020.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 11:13 PM
If I'm not mistaken that was the cover story of last months Popular Science

They also have a neat artist concept of the idea

Some questions I had when I saw it were will it become a reality? and by the projected date of 2011 IIRC?

Could the transporter craft be related to the infamous aurora project?

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 11:45 PM
If we are to justify it's effectiveness as a means of transportation of troops we have to look into a variety of things.

1. Landing. Whatever the craft is, it will have to be able to land vertically, unless every invasion attempt of the marines future relies on there being a landing strip in the right orientation for a atmosphere to terra landing.

2. Re-use... once landed in the hotbed of military activity, can it be used again to launch another assault, or return the soldiers home? With todays technology, chances are you cannot. You can deliver them, but without a co-ordinated launch program, you won't get them home by the same means they were delivered.

3. Weight. What can you feasably store in a exo-atmospheric vehicle, that can be used on the ground in an armored assault, that won't exceed the maximum mass of the carrier.

posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 11:06 PM
I don't think it is that far from possibility I mean ranger can be deployed anywhere in the world in what 17 hours thats realy not that far off.

P.S. I always laugh when u guys mention the Aurora projects. I have done training on Canadian military bases with CP-140 Auroras. there used for anti-submarine warfare.

Lockheed CP-140 AURORA

[edit on 29/12/06 by The_Smokeing_Gun]

posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 08:26 PM
Did anyone ever read the book starship Troopers or see the cartoon, may be they could deliver the troops in individual pods.

posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 08:28 PM
I'm really pissed that the government is wasting money on this harebrained idea.

posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 08:31 PM
Hey not my government, Thats the good thing about Canada, we are happy with what we have.

posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 09:51 PM
The Marine Corps perfected amphibious landings during the 1930's when everyone else thought it was a waste of time and money and, well, the rest is history.

The Marine Corps worked in the Osprey for twenty years when everyone in the world said they'd never work and that they were too dangerous to fly even if they did. Guess what. I see one or two whisking around Albuquerque on a regular basis.

If the Marine Corps is willing to invest in this "harebrained idea," then history is on their side.

The Marine Corps didn't get to be the service it is today by listening to skeptics.

For those who are interested in understanding the United States Marine Corps and how it originated and how it has managed to survive for 231 years in the face of repeated attempts to dismantle it or absorb it into the other branches of the service, may I suggest reading First to Fight by Victor Krulak. It's a pretty quick read and is very enlightening, even for those who have served.

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 02:33 AM

Originally posted by GradyPhilpott

The Marine Corps worked in the Osprey for twenty years when everyone in the world said they'd never work and that they were too dangerous to fly even if they did. Guess what. I see one or two whisking around Albuquerque on a regular basis.

Yeah you still see the Osprey at LeJeune too. Neat to look at, but still got some bugs. Semper!

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 11:49 AM

Originally posted by Sean0352
Yeah you still see the Osprey at LeJeune too. Neat to look at, but still got some bugs. Semper!

You say that as though the Osprey is moribund, but in fact, it is likely that the aircraft will be deployed to Iraq within the year.

Everyone knows it's got bugs, but as one man said:

"...[W]e're stuck with it, so we've got to make it work...."

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:47 PM
but what would be the purpose of having space marines other then evading other planets?

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:48 PM
yea baby thats what i was talkin about...some real space capabilities

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 09:38 PM

Originally posted by The_Smokeing_Gun
but what would be the purpose of having space marines other then evading other planets?

If you will read the information in the first post, you will understand what this program entails.

"Evading" other planets is not exactly the mission of the Marine Corps at this time. Well, maybe it is, depending on what you mean.

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 09:42 PM

You have voted GradyPhilpott for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

OUTSTANDING and of course..

Semper Fi!!!!!


posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 10:15 PM
Such a system does get rid of the nasty problem of over-flying or violating any international air-space sovereign laws.

Would it be considered a "space weapon"? Quite likely not in the eyes of at least some. If one were to sub-orbital "hop" at an altitude above the defined international altitude limit then deployment can happen - presto. It would seem technically doable perhaps even decades ago.

Such a two-piece system would not neccessarily only be able to deliver a squad size payload... how much does a squad weigh? Something that goes bang that has the same mass as a squad could be delivered.

I wonder if a troop carrying version will be a shirt sleeve environment for the troops? It'd be a bit fubsy with a space suit on hitting the LZ... on the STS before Challenger NASA astro's went for the ride without a pressure suit right? Shouldn't be a big deal.

The notion of it's dedicated availability is worth considering as well. Sittin' on ready-call 24/7/365.

Will it be built? If something really bad doesn't happen 1st. Can it be built? Wouldn't doubt all the ducks are in row somwhere "Dark" already. SUSTAIN. Yeah, we'll be speculating about this for the next decade or so...

I wonder if there is any complication between polar direction launches as opposed to an equatorial hop?

[edit on 1-4-2007 by V Kaminski]

posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 07:57 PM
But if they arn't going to envade other planets why do they need to have marines in space?

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 07:12 AM
To deploy them around the world, so its easier to bully other countries. After we submit, then its everyone else. It is a waste of my money. Thank you NWO.

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:22 PM
My post was not ment to imply anything other than the fact that they are still testing the damn thing. I almost lost my Company Cmdr in a Osprey crash back in 2000. I hope they dont deploy it over here anytime soon.

I remember the first time I heard about the Osprey. A PR guy from NASA came to my elementary school in 1985. He told us it'd be about 15 yrs until we saw one. I saw one fly the next day at a Blue Angel airshow. It's gonna be awesome when it's ready.

posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 03:42 PM
Now if they can get those powered exoskeletons working and throw armor on them the US Marines can be the first to have a unit of Mobile Infantry, aka Starship Troopers.

posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:29 AM
The Marines have made a name for themselves doing what others think is crazy or impossible. I know once they get it working it will give the bad guys great pause.

Semper FI

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