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DARPA hunts airplane-like spacecraft that can go Mach 10

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posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 09:05 AM
Rather surprised that nobody has posted this yet.

DARPA is developing a plane that can be launched 10 times in 10 days, can reach Mach 10, and deploy small satellites at lower cost that current methods.

If this gets developed this can also be a huge step for the possibility of space tourism.

From DARPA: "The objective of the XS-1 program is to design, build, and demonstrate a reusable Mach 10 aircraft capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage that inserts 3,000- 5,000 lb. payloads into low earth orbit (LEO) at a target cost of less than $5M per launch. The XS-1 program envisions that a reusable first stage would fly to hypersonic speeds at a suborbital altitude. At that point, one or more expendable upper stages would separate and deploy a satellite into Low Earth Orbit. The reusable hypersonic aircraft would then return to earth, land and be prepared for the next flight. Modular components, durable thermal protection systems and automatic launch, flight, and recovery systems should significantly reduce logistical needs, enabling rapid turnaround between flights."

DARPA said that the long-term intent is for XS-1 technologies to be transitioned to support not only next-generation launch for government and commercial customers, but also global reach hypersonic and space access aircraft.

Link to Darpa News Release

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 09:24 AM
why 10 times in 10 days and not once per day? :/

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 09:45 AM
reply to post by Beavers

I had the same thought, I assume that there will have to be some sort of maintenance routine done on it every 10 flights. Flying at those speeds will definitely result is some serious wear and tear.

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 10:01 AM
reply to post by InSanE1

yeah, seems the only logical explanation.... either that or it turns into a pumpkin on day 10

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 10:05 AM
I re-read the OP but failed to see a mention of any "hunt", but did find a program in development...

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 10:12 AM
reply to post by Chamberf=6

I just copied the headline from one of the articles. You're right though it is a bit confusing.

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 10:15 AM
lol probably like them planes off the movie "The Exploding Sun"

that amplifies solar radiation.

But all serious they probably already have this tech.

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 10:40 AM
I think it was odd to retire the Shuttle with no replacement. But then again, maybe the replacement is already here and we just don't know about it yet.

Time will tell.

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 04:38 PM
Reaction Engines Limited are working on Skylon which ticks all the boxes they need.

I wonder if DARPA will partner up on it, or whether the age old issue of politicians not buying into "foreign" developments will continue?

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 07:21 PM
Someone please help me because i do not understand this. Darpa´s HTV-2 project has gone completly off the radar and even to this day i have not seen a single photographic image of the flightready craft. There was some coverage during flight testing (using poor animations) and then nothing. Well, that is, i read that the project lacked goverment funding and was beeing shut down (going black). Now they want to take it one step further but there are still no conclusion to be found on the HTV-2 which seems to be somewhat similar in concept?!

Please, i´m missing something here.

posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 07:42 PM
reply to post by tomra

There were two HTV-2 test flights and they both failed. I think the HTV-2 mission was to be able to strike targets anywhere on Earth within one hour, so not exactly the same mission as launching satellites into Low Earth Orbit as discussed above.


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