It seems the Pentagon and Elon Musk are coming together as of late to work on something interesting. Sure, we already send things around the world using ships and planes but what if we were able to use rockets?
According to Popular Mechanics, Space X is working on the use of rockets to send cargo all around the world which would be quite interesting to accomplish. This would basically allow the military here in the US to get supplies where they are needed much quicker than usual and well, rather than waiting days those who need certain things would only be waiting a few hours or so. While it would be capable of delivering other things and would sometimes do as such, it seems the primary reason for this would be to potentially deliver weapons quickly.
This partnership was announced during a virtual meeting by the Pentagon on the 7th according to Vice and well, it’s not something that most were expecting. That being said, delivering packages of any kind globally within an hour is a mind-blowing concept. This could in a sense, be the way of the future.
Vice wrote as follows on all of this:
“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour. Think about that speed associated with the movement of transportation of cargo and people,” U.S. Army General Stephen R. Lyons—commander of U.S. Transportation Command—said during the event. “There is a lot of potential here.”
U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is the backbone of the American military. One of the things that makes the U.S. military a dominant global fighting force is its ability to move troops, weapons, and supplies quickly to where they’re needed. C-17 transport planes soar across the globe delivering troops and weapons where they’re needed. But America isn’t making any more C-17s, so while demand for logistics in the military is up, the supply of vehicles designed to carry stuff around the planet is down.
To fill the logistical gap, USTRANSCOM wants SpaceX to build rockets it can quickly fire around the globe.
“For the past 75 years or so, we have been constrained to around 40,000 feet altitude and 600 miles per hour in our very fastest method of logistics delivery—airlift,” USTRANSCOM deputy commander U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dee Mewbourne said during the event announcing the plan. “What are the possibilities for logistical fulfillment at about 10 times those figures, when the need for support on the other side of the world is urgent?”
The partnership will take the form of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA), a specialized kind of contract between the government and a private company. Unlike traditional military contracts, CRADAs are a specialized contract that allows both the government and the private company to fund the research and grants the private company—SpaceX in this case—rights to the patents developed during the research.
The project is in the early stages and there’s no telling when, or if, SpaceX will be able to move MRAPs, guns, and MREs from Fort Bragg to Djibouti in 45 minutes.
The things we’ve seen Musk do with Space X overall so far have been truly astronomical and so, this seems to be the best route to go if the Pentagon does actually want to get this kind of thing done. While nothing is completed just yet and only time will tell how this all works in the future, we may be headed towards a very interesting new way of delivering things as time passed and years roll on. Sure, at first this kind of thing would be just the military and so forth but who knows what the future may hold in other areas of life with this concept.