Commercial space company Sierra Space has sign an agreement with the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) to develop space transportation solutions for military cargo and personnel.
The capability will allow the Department of Defense to deliver military assistance anywhere in the world in a fraction of the time of traditional transports.
The two organizations will work together to provide solutions based on “Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplanes, Shooting Star cargo modules and in-orbit infrastructure”. announced the Louisville-based company.
Hypersonic Cargo Delivery
Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice said, “Today’s agreement with the United States Transportation Command provides Sierra Space with the unique opportunity to provide hypersonic point-to-point solutions to our government customers.
“Through Dream Chaser, the world’s first commercial spaceplane, Shooting Star cargo module and other projects, we are focused on providing unique ultra-fast and heavy payload solutions to the Department of Defense for logistical and personnel movement needs. We plan to leverage these technologies to reach anywhere on the globe in three hours.
According to USTRANSCOM, Sierra Space will create the capability to launch multiple rockets into space, pre-position supplies into orbit, and deliver them via “several precision delivery platforms to sites around the world, including traditional tracks.
Five mandated space companies
The command also initiated Research and development cooperation agreements with Virgin Orbit National Systems and Rocket Lab USA. Similar partnerships are also underway with SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Virgin Orbit National Systems is developing an air-launched rocket requiring less developed infrastructure than vertical liftoff systems for the initiative, while Rocket Lab USA is developing a series of vertical launch/landing vehicles that can deliver payloads to orbit.
Expected in the next decade
USTRANSCOM expects the capability to be ready within the next decade.
“We must continue to provide our leaders with options below the threshold of war and prevent logistics from being the limiting factor on the battlefield,” said USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. JOhn P. Sullivan said.
“We are encouraged by the progress made by the space transportation industry as an emerging option.”