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DARPA's XS-1 program aims for an unmanned spaceship with aircraft-like costs

2013-09-18 10:27:00 HotNews 54人瀏覽

The reusable spacecraft we've seen so far haven't really lived up to their billing: vehicles like the Space Shuttle or SpaceShipTwo require elaborate, expensive launches. If DARPA succeeds with its just-announced XS-1 program, however, spaceflight could be an affordable, everyday occurrence. The agency plans to develop an unmanned spacecraft that requires a minimal ground crew, reaches speeds above Mach 10 and flies at least 10 times in as many days. Provided DARPA meets its goals, XS-1 would both speed up the deployment of small satellites and lower the cost per flight to an "aircraft-like" $5 million or less. Don't count on seeing a ship in action anytime soon, though. DARPA will only receive some of the first design proposals on October 7th, and someone still has to build the winning project -- it will likely be years before XS-1 slips the surly bonds of Earth.

Filed under: Transportation


Source: DARPA