The United States military wants to be able to deliver massive amounts of advanced weaponry and military cargo to any location across the globe in less than one hour.
The Department of Defense announced this week it is teaming up with Elon Musk's SpaceX in order to develop a rocket capable of traveling 7,500 miles per hour, but which can simultaneously transport 80 tons of cargo.
“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” General Stephen Lyons, head of US Transportation Command, said in a virtual defense conference this week. “I can tell you SpaceX is moving very, very rapidly in this area. I’m really excited about the team that’s working with SpaceX.”
This would essentially involve aircraft which is capable of hauling military cargo through orbit, further with hardware the size of tanks aboard.
The example being widely cited is that while currently the fastest large military transport plane would complete a 7,652-mile journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan in 15 hours, the new SpaceX planned system could be capable of accomplishing it merely one hour.
The US government also signed a contract with a company called Exploration Architecture Corporation (XArc) for work on the at this point highly theoretical concept.
SpaceX is promising the Pentagon one-hour weapon delivery around the globe.https://t.co/F1OsmVZ0G8— Futurism (@futurism) October 9, 2020
The plan was announced on the heels of SpaceX also landing a $149 million contract for developing missile-tracking satellites with the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, Gen. Lyons touted that a “proof of principle” test could be unveiled to the world as soon as next year, though clearly such an ambitious technological innovation is likely decades away from being realized and put into operation.
Should such a technology become operational, it would likely fall under the domain of Trump's recently establish Space Force, the DoD's sixth military branch to be established.