Sometimes, Amazon can get that package to you in just 24 hours, which is amazing.
Now imagine a 12,000 km/h (7,500-mph) super rocket that can deliver a trove of weapons to armed forces anywhere in the world in just one hour.
That’s exactly what Elon Musk, SpaceX and the US military are planning to do, and it’s called Project Starship, Business Insider reported.
The aim of the two partners is to significantly reduce the transport time of huge payloads up to 80 tons, compared to conventional military aircraft.
Point-to-point space travel is a revolutionary form of transportation, in which a rocket would launch into space and then return at another location.
It would also be a reusable system.
Stephen Lyons, head of the United States Transportation Command, which ensures the worldwide transport of troops by sea, land and air, announced that the more than 12,000 km journey from Florida to Afghanistan with the new high-speed missile could be tackled in around an hour.
In comparison, a US C-17 Globemaster, a military transport aircraft worth US$218 million (180 million euros) with a maximum speed of 590 mph (approx. 950 km/h), takes around 15 hours.
“So you can say that with the new rocket we can bring the charge of a C-17 to anywhere in the world in less than an hour,” enthused Lyons in The Times.
“I can tell you that SpaceX is moving very, very quickly in this direction and I am already looking forward to what is to come,” added the head of transportation.
The Starship project is currently in the test phase.
In May of this year, a Starship prototype was shot into the sky from the launch pad in Texas for a high-altitude test flight.
The prototypes stand at about 150 feet tall, or about the size of a 15-storey building, and each one is powered by three Raptor rocket engines.
Built of stainless steel, it represents the early version of the rocket that Musk unveiled in 2019.
With these test flights, at which heights of up to ten kilometers can be reached, SpaceX hopes to gain a better understanding of the processes and to advance the development of a completely reusable transport system “that can help mankind return to the moon, to Mars travel or beyond,” says the company’s website.
It is not yet known when the super rocket will be ready for series production.
The plan comes days after SpaceX landed a US$149 million contract to build missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, indicating that the aerospace firm is ramping up its military contracts.
As part of the deal, SpaceX will build four satellites fitted with wide-angle infrared missile-tracking sensors in its assembly plant in Washington, where the firm builds satellites for its Starlink internet project.
In August, SpaceX won 40% of a billion-dollar agreement with the Department of Defense to launch new rockets for the Space Force. The remaining 60% went to United Launch Alliance.
The SpaceX team has already released the reusable “Falcon 9” and “Falcon Heavy” rockets into orbit and landed them safely on earth.
And in May of this year, the temporary spectacular climax in the company’s history: On board the crew capsule “Dragon,” space tourists were shot into space for the first time – the first manned mission in human history without professional astronauts.
Sources: Business Insider, EFahrer.com, The Times, CNBC