SpaceX to develop high-speed rocket to transport US army weapons anywhere in 60 minutes

1 week ago 4

Head of the US Transportation Command General Stephen Lyons said Elon Musk's SpaceX has signed a deal to build a high-speed rocket that could transport the equivalent of a C-17 payload at a speed of 7,500 mph.

File photo of Elon Musk

File photo of Elon Musk (Photo Credits: Reuters)

SpaceX is now collaborating with the US army to build a rocket that could transport weapons systems anywhere on the globe in merely 60 minutes. This comes days after Elon Musk's SpaceX inked a USD 149 million contract with Pentagon to develop missile-tracking satellites.

Addressing a virtual conference on Wednesday, head of the US Transportation Command General Stephen Lyons made the new deal public. Gen Lyons added that SpaceX will now assess the technical challenges and costs of this ambitious project.

Initial tests can be expected by as early as 2021, Gen Stephen Lyons said adding, "Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour." He was referring to the maximum payload that can be carried by US military transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster which costs USD 218 million per aircraft and can fly at a top speed of 590 mph.

In comparison, the proposed high-speed rocket SpaceX is planning to build will be able to travel at 7,500 mph, according to The Times. This essentially means that a journey from Florida in the US to Afghanistan could be covered in an hour with a payload the equivalent of what a C-17 Globemaster can carry. As per the US Air Force's official website, a C-17 Globemaster can carry a payload of over 74,000 kilograms.

A second company Exploration Architecture Corporation (XARC) will also be part of this project by Elon Musk's SpaceX to build a high-speed rocket for the US army.

In September, SpaceX signed a deal with the US Space Force, enabling it to reuse rockets to carry national security payloads. Reports at the time had pointed out that Elon Musk's SpaceX will reuse a Falcon 9 booster to carry the fifth GPS III satellite to orbit in 2021. This deal is expected to save the US Space Force at least USD 52.7 million in a single launch.

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