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IPFS News Link • DOD-Department of Defense

US DOD Wants to Fully Own and Operate SpaceX Starships and Boosters for Military Missions

• https://www.nextbigfuture.com, by Brian Wang

The Pentagon has funded a project to develop the capability and have a proof of concept demo for the single upper stage fully reusable SpaceX Starship to deliver cargo anywhere on Earth in under one hour. There were two fundings for total of about $150 million.

The new discussions are for an expanded effort. The first effort is like contracting a Boeing to prove it could use one 787 to make one delivery.

The initial new option could be for the military to take full operational control of SpaceX Starships while they performed a secret mission. The military would staff the operations to use the DOD owned reusable rockets for secret missions. If the Starship survived then it would be returned to SpaceX.

Another option could eventually be the full purchase of multiple SpaceX Starships and Booster The military would also need to have many Mechazilla launch towers built. The military would staff the operations to use the DOD owned reusable rockets for secret missions.

The Pentagon has approached SpaceX about potentially taking over Starship for sensitive and potentially dangerous missions as a government-owned, government-operated asset instead of contracting the company to launch payloads.

The company has been exploring its options in responding, Gary Henry, a senior adviser with SpaceX, told the audience at the Space Mobility Conference here Jan. 30.

SpaceX is already on contract for development of the Department of the Air Force's Rocket Cargo mission, with the goal of delivering cargo point to point through space. But this is beyond that plan.


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