US military gave SpaceX money. In return, they want their cargo delivered on Starship.

(ORDO NEWS) — Elon Musk’s company received a $102 million contract from the US military. The amount is small, but is intended only to show the fundamental possibility of using the company’s carriers for the needs of the military.

The contract was signed under the program of rocket cargo transportation. Work within the framework of it is headed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. The goal is to study the capabilities of large commercial missiles to support the logistics of the US Department of Defense. SpaceNews writes about what is happening .

As part of the contract, SpaceX’s obligations are minimal so far: the company must give representatives of the US Air Force access to measure the parameters of its rocket launches, as well as work out the possibility of using containers used by the US Air Force to transport cargo to various parts of the world. The agreement also has the option of a full-scale demonstration of the transportation of a heavy load by a transport rocket with its landing and unloading.

According to the head of the rocket cargo transportation program, the Ministry of Defense “is very interested in the ability to deliver cargo to any point on the Earth in order to provide humanitarian assistance, as well as in the event of disaster relief.” It should be noted that the US Air Force does make extensive use of flights for the supply of goods – however, most of them are not entirely humanitarian in nature.

The specific terms of the demonstration flight and other obligations of SpaceX are not specified in the contract. Its validity period is five years, that is, a demonstration and so on must be held somewhere within these terms, without specifying.

The Air Force notes that over time they plan to attract representatives of other private companies to the program. Today it is not entirely clear who it could be: in the United States there are no other private carriers of the sizes and capabilities necessary for this.

Previously , Naked Science wrote about the possibility of using Starship in the interests of the US military – both in orbit and for transporting military cargo on our planet, between remote points. Elon Musk plans to use this ship to deliver passengers between distant continents: for example, the USA and Australia.

US military gave SpaceX money In return they want their cargo delivered on Starship

Since such suborbital spaceflights will travel at an average speed of more than 20,000 kilometers per hour, they will take less than an hour to reach any point on Earth. At the same time, they will require significant fuel costs, which will be equal to aviation only for very long distances of transportation.

The implementation of such projects depends on whether SpaceX succeeds in achieving the planned reduction in the cost of space flights. Musk expects to bring them up to a price of $20 per kilogram, while modern rockets launch a payload into space at a price of $2,500 per kilogram.

Third-party experts believe that a more realistic withdrawal amount for Starship would be $100 per kilogram. In this case, passenger intercontinental flights on it are unlikely to be popular. But the US military may not be deterred by such rates: the total US military spending is already close to a trillion dollars a year.

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