The Pentagon is looking for a few good space planes.
They need to be fast, they need to be cheap, and they need to be reusable -- on a one-day pit stop, no less. That's the word from DARPA, the Defense Department's no-idea-is-too-far-out shop, which has just launched the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program.
The goal of the XS-1 program is to give the U.S. military a flying machine that can soar to suborbital altitudes, at which point an expendable upper stage (or stages) would separate in order to deploy a small satellite into low-earth orbit. So don'… Read more