A few years ago, NASA tried to create a supersonic shuttle, capable of achieving high speeds, but most of all, for multiple trips in short time. The agency abandoned it after some time, but DARPA believes that the idea has a future and has started working on such a vehicle.
At the end of last year, Defense Department laboratories announced a plan to continue NASA’s project to build a vehicle called the XS-1 (eXperimental Spaceplane), a space shuttle reusable space shuttle. The vehicle, according to the assumption, would achieve supersonic speeds and would serve to bring satellites into orbit. And with the ability to take multiple starts and landings without the need for long preparation, it would be much cheaper to use.
DARPA will be organizing a competition for the final design of the machine in early May, and when that choice is completed, construction work is due to begin in 2015. The next phase is a two-year test of the shuttle, so in 2017 the machine should be fully ready for service.
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