Posted on Sunday, 19 July, 2020
An artist's impression of Shooting Star. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)
The US Space Force is reportedly working on plans for an experimental outpost in orbit around the Earth.
Back in June 2018, the US President announced the formation of a new branch of the US military - a 'Space Force' that would help to prevent countries such as China and Russia taking the lead off-world.
Since then, efforts have been underway to bolster the military's presence off-world, with a 'critical' communications satellite being launched back in March followed by the acquisition of its first offensive weapon in April - a satellite jamming array capable of blocking enemy access to military satellites.
Now though, it looks as though the US Space Force is planning to take things one step further by creating and launching an experimental space station which will be capable of supporting a whole range of scientific research endeavours.
The new outpost is being designed as a modification of the existing Shooting Star space transport vehicle which has been in development by the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) since 2016.
"We're excited by the multi-mission nature of Shooting Star," said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen.
"It was originally developed for NASA resupply missions to the International Space Station, and since then we keep identifying new capabilities and solutions it offers to a wide variety of customers. The possible applications for Shooting Star are really endless."
Measuring 15ft long, the vehicle is capable of carrying 10,000 pounds of cargo.
"The current Shooting Star is already designed with significant capabilities for an orbital outpost and by adding only a few components we are able to meet Department of Defense needs," said SNC's Steve Lindsey.
"We are proud to offer our transport vehicle to DoD as a free-flying destination for experimentation and testing, expanding beyond its current payload service capabilities for Dream Chaser cargo missions."
The first demonstration mission of Shooting Star is set to take place later this year.
Source: The Drive
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