Pentagon report details plans for assault Starships — Analysis

The US military wants to use Elon Musk’s spaceships to deploy a “quick reaction force”

Landing a rescue force at a US embassy in Africa threatened by a Benghazi-style siege is just one of the potential military uses for Elon Musk’s Starship vessels, according to an internal military report made public on Monday. This document refers to the 2020 collaborative agreement between SpaceX, the US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), however it is still a wishlist as the Starships have not yet been ready for operational operations.

It was announced publicly by the US military that TRANSCOM and SpaceX had collaborated in October 2020. Officially, the Defense Department wanted the capability to move the equivalent of a C-17 payload – just under 80 tons, or a single M1 Abrams tank – “anywhere on the globe in less than an hour.” 

According to The Pentagon, there were additional goals that the Pentagon was pursuing. “midterm report”The Intercept obtained the following program through a Freedom of Information Act request. It was published Monday.

The possibility of a fleet military Starships is possible “an alternative method for logistics delivery”Delivery in the Pacific “a collection of shelters, vehicles, construction equipment and other gear”So the US Air Force could set up an Airbase wherever it was needed, no matter where they are located.

Weapons dropped from orbit anywhere on Earth within an hour? DoD asks SpaceX to prove it’s viable

This is the third scenario that we have imagined, and it’s called “Embassy Support,”Seek out “rapid theater direct delivery capability”From the US to Africa, possibly involving an ambassador “quick reaction force.”Simply demonstrating such an ability does not make it possible. “could deter non-state actors from aggressive acts toward the US,”The military stated.

While the report itself does not make such a comparison, the scenario overlaps quite a bit with the attack on the US compound in Benghazi, Libya – where an ambassador and three security contractors were killed on September 11, 2012 as they waited for a rescue force that never came.

SpaceX did not comment on this story. John Ross, a TRANSCOM spokesperson told Intercept that the military believed a rocket-deployed rapid response force would be able to respond quickly. “possible within the next 5-10 years.”

Starship development is ongoing. Only May 2021 saw the successful landing. This was after several tests which ended with fiery explosions. Musk must deal with technical issues as well. He also has to navigate the federal bureaucracy in order to get permits for testing launches from SpaceX’s southern Texas facility. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave SpaceX preliminary environmental approval last week, but to get the full approval license the company will need to prepare “a historical context report … of the Mexican War” and fulfill 74 other demands, according to National Geographic. The FAA license will only cover ten launches per year. SpaceX’s lack of a license is another concern. “a strong safety culture,”According to an FAA report, the information was leaked June 2021.

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