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Aug 12 2015

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Wait…wut?

I’ve been critical of Space Daily in the past of reproducing garbage from Sputnik News. Here is a perfect example:

Star Wars: US set to build space plane for extraterrestrial battle. The article’s pretty short, so I’ll quote it in its entirety so that you don’t send a click their way:

The US aerospace giant Boeing has signed a contract with the US government to design a spaceplane, the XS-1, for the fast delivery of satellites into orbit, reports Defense Blog.

US military strategists fully expect that in any future conflicts between the major world powers, Earth’s orbit will become a new battlefield.

Laser-armed satellites, long-range anti-aircraft missiles and other deadly weapons of destruction would attack and destroy enemy orbital forces.

The country that can recover fastest from the initial orbital attack will dominate space, the ultimate high ground in any high-tech battle.

“In an era of declining budgets and adversaries’ evolving capabilities, quick, affordable, and routine access to space is increasingly critical for both national and economic security,” DARPA stated in a press release.

The new spaceplane XS-1 is designed to boost a two-ton satellite into space every day for 10 days straight for less than $5 million per flight.

Conceptually, the robotic XS-1 is basically just a high- and fast-flying drone that can lend a single-stage rocket speed and altitude, making it easier for the rocket to escape Earth’s gravity.

Russian air defense and aerospace defense can effectively track and destroy targets in near-Earth space. If the MiG-31 interceptor or S-400/500 anti-aircraft missile system can hit a satellite in orbit, the new spaceplane would also be an easy target for them.

Now, I’m not denying that there could be a military aspect of the XS-1, though the most likely use will be commercial launches — I’m quite certain that if Boeing can launch large payloads into orbit for less than $5 mil, then that’s a game changer for the launch industry. It would be an order of magnitude cheaper than SpaceX both in cost and in launch turnaround, which is why I doubt that it can be done. But that’s what DARPA does — fund high risk and “out there” R&D to help subsidize innovation.

I bolded the last paragraph to illustrate my point about Space Daily. Even if true (and to my knowledge Russia cannot effectively destroy targets in orbit), why would you make the decision to print it? If you’re desperate to fill white space on your news site, why not edit out the last couple of paragraphs, which are clearly Pravda propaganda?

I don’t get it.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/12/wait-wut/

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