Update time：2021-07-24 20:16Tag: warzone price
The Air Force says that to “utilize modeling, simulation, and analysis to conduct operational analysis of Rocket Cargo concepts, trajectories, and design considerations and verify military utility, performance, and operational cost” is part of its plans for the program in the 2021 Fiscal Year, which ends on September 30. The service also intends to “gather operational data from on-going commercial large-scale, instrumented, reusable launch events.”
The service’s plans for the 2022 Fiscal Year are significantly more ambitious and include finishing “initial AFRL [Air Force Research Laboratory] wind tunnel testing to assess novel trajectories needed for air-drop capability, and high-speed separation physics” and completing “industry outreach for loadmaster concepts including novel container designs, load/unload concepts, and testing the compatibility of AF cargo with rocket launch and space environments.” Beyond that, the Air Force actually wants to “test and demonstrate an initial one-way transport capability to an austere site” and “perform an early end-to-end test to fully identify the technical challenges.”
From what we’ve seen already, the Air Force has been looking at one concept of operation for Rocket Cargo that involves sending reusable rocket-boosted vehicles, such as SpaceX’s Starship, via space or at least extremely high altitudes within the atmosphere, to forward locations. They would then land at those sites, be unloaded and/or reloaded, and then sent back to their initial departure point. The 2022 budget request mentions an “air-drop capability,” which indicates that the service is also interested in the potential for a vehicle flying in space, or at least close to it, to release payloads over a designated drop zone. In addition to prior public discussions of the Rocket Cargo concept, there has also been talk about the possibility of prepositioning cargo in space for rapid deployment in a crisis or other contingency.
The immediate benefits, at least in general principle, of having any combination of these capabilities are obvious. The ability to very quickly deploy forces and other equipment and supplies to respond to rapidly developing situations on the ground could be valuable in a wide array of scenarios, ranging from high-end conflicts to humanitarian missions.
At the same time, the potential pitfalls of the concept, which has been explored to varying degrees since the beginning of the Space Race in the 1950s, are equally clear. There are many unresolved questions about the basic operational practicality of employing something like a reusable spacecraft to send cargo, let alone personnel, to forward locations, not to mention trying to then get those vehicles ready for a return trip in any sort of austere environment. On top of that, it’s not clear how survivable this general concept of operation might be given the potential difficulties that could be involved in concealing these kinds of launches and shielding the noisy craft from enemy attacks during the landing procedure. A launch from a forward site would have to involve a rocket booster full of fuel, which could only make it a very attractive target, as well.