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"Experimental US Military Spaceplane the ‘Phantom Express’" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2017 12:26 p.m. PST

… to Be Built by Boeing.

"The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on May 24 that it had selected Boeing for the next phase of its XS-1 project, known as the Experimental Spaceplane, after an intense competition among aerospace companies. The XS-1 is aimed to be a completely reusable military space plane capable of launching 3,000-lb. (1,360 kilograms) satellites into orbit 10 times in 10 days. The spacecraft could dramatically reduce the cost of launches to $5 USD million per flight, DARPA officials said.

"The XS-1 would be neither a traditional airplane nor a conventional launch vehicle but rather a combination of the two, with the goal of lowering launch costs by a factor of ten and replacing today's frustratingly long wait time with launch on demand," DARPA program manager Jess Sponable said in a statement. "We're very pleased with Boeing's progress on the XS-1 through Phase 1 of the program and look forward to continuing our close collaboration in this newly funded progression to Phases 2 and 3 — fabrication and flight…"
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Lion in the Stars25 May 2017 7:22 p.m. PST

1300kg is a fairly small satellite, but the ability to rapid-fire would be really useful in a conflict where someone is taking out satellites.

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