Friday, May 26, 2017

Boeing to make Space Travel and Launching Satellites Quick and Easy

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Space.  The final frontier.  President Obama wanted to abandon it and make it a collective effort to play "asteroids", prove the climate change hoax to be true, and help Islam with whatever they wanted to use it for.  Trump's administration, however, has embraced the science of space for bigger and better things, and has encouraged the private market to "go for it" regarding the science, as well.

The agency heading an exiting new journey into space (sort of) is The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  The organization is a government agency of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and the agency is responsible for the development of emerging technologies, especially when it comes to military applications.  Founded in 1958, the nearly three billion dollar annual budget of the organization is ready to go ahead with a very exciting project, with Boeing as a partner.

The new experimental aircraft project called the XS-1, a vehicle designed to make launching satellites a faster, less expensive endeavor, is moving full speed ahead.  The partnership with Boeing who will build the low-level-space-capable hypersonic craft will enable the already begun design to be completed, and for the idea to take shape and become a reality in the years to come.

The XS-1, like the Space Shuttle, is expected to be a reusable craft.  Unlike the Space Shuttle, however, the XS-1 is a vehicle that will take-off, fly, and land unmanned.  Thanks to the new agreed partnership with Boeing, the hopes of reaching a test phase by 2020 are now viable, returning us to a very exciting idea that reengages humanity with the concept of reusable space craft, and in this case, for a reusable hypersonic jet that is able to launch satellites into low-earth orbit on short notice, quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.

The XS-1 is supposed to be a kind of hybrid, a cross between the traditional airplanes that fly in our skies daily, and a conventional launch vehicle much like the ones used during the Space Shuttle program.  However, the real kicker is that the project has the goal of lowering launch costs by a factor of ten and replacing today's frustratingly long wait time with launch on demand.

In the age of exploding technology, and information at our fingertips online, I would expect this to be the generation to turn spaceflight into a quicker, no waiting required, endeavor.

The XS-1 is not designed to go completely into outer-space like some of us are hoping to see in our lifetimes, but it is definitely a giant step in the right direction.  For now, the job of this latest spacecraft will be to get as close to space as it can, without actually crossing the threshold.  It will then launch a smaller rocket-like vehicle that can fly from the suborbital height the XS-1 is in, into the area of space where satellites orbit the Earth.  The "secondary rocket" will take
its payload into orbit, release the satellite, and be done with it.  In the meantime, the spaceplane can descend back to the ground, be loaded again, and take a second satellite up within hours of delivering the first.

Whether or not this technology can help with more ambitious endeavors like returning to the moon or a trip to Mars may not be apparent, but it's nice to see technology reaching towards the stars, again.

That all said, the program still remains in its early phases, and we will likely not see an on-ground engine test for at least two years.  But, the concept video from which the pictures on this page were taken (and is available for viewing below) looks pretty awesome.  On paper, the concept is a winner.  Now, it's just a matter of making that winning concept an actual reality.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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