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Space news: SpaceX and US military in talks to modernise forces in space race | Science | News

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SpaceX is reportedly ready to treat the US military as a customer for its advance space fleet technology. This collaboration would see the military have access to SpaceX’s next generation of Starships as well as its Starlink satellites.

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer, Gwynne Shotwell, on Wednesday appeared at a conference held alongside the US military who talked about their efforts to modernise the force and bring it up to date in the latest weaponry and technology.

Ms Shotwell gave a brief outline of SpaceX’s history and the transportation systems it has built in recent years.

Following the discussion, Ms Shottwell told SpaceNews that SpaceX viewed the US military as a potential customer for its services and products.

She said: “We’re talking to the Army about Starlink and Starship.”

SpaceX are ready to view the US military as a customer (Image: GETTY)

Musk is advancing with his space fleet program rapidly

Musk is advancing with his space fleet program rapidly (Image: GETTY)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants Starship to be the first space craft to take humans to Mars and return them safely.

He plans to use the new vehicles to send people to the Moon, Mars, and also to move at never before seen speeds across the globe.

The ability to move people around the Earth swiftly is something that the US military has reportedly been interested in.

Although the military doesn’t launch big satellites or send crews to space, it could conceivably use Starship to deliver cargo halfway around the world in minutes, according to SpaceNews.

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His Starship will be ready for test flights in the next few months

His Starship will be ready for test flights in the next few months (Image: GETTY)

SpaceX has already made a pitch of this kind to the US Air Force.

SpaceX is currently in the process of building prototypes for its Starship MK1, of which it hopes to begin high-altitude tests in the next few months.

Mr Musk told a crowd gathered at SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas, facility, where the prototype has been assembled: “This is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen.

“So this thing is going to take off, fly to 65,000ft, about 20km, and come back and land.

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The Starship prototype

The Starship prototype (Image: GETTY)

Donald Trump is keen to advance the US' presence in space

Donald Trump is keen to advance the US’ presence in space (Image: GETTY)

“So that giant thing, it’s really going be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back.”

Asides from rapid developments with the Starship, SpaceX recently filed documents with telecommunications authorities that reveal its plans to launch 30,000 small satellites into space, with Mr Musk planning to launch 20 batches of 1,500 into space at a time.

This is triple the amount ever launched by humans in history.

Though Ms Shottwell didn’t mention Starlink during the discussion with the US military, SpaceNews reports that the company is interested in securing the military as a customer for its mass broadband plan.

NASA has suffered financial loss in recent years

NASA has suffered financial loss in recent years (Image: Express Newspapers)

The Starlink service looks to blanket the Earth in a mesh of high-speed, low-latency and affordable internet access.

Even partial deployment of Starlink would help those back on Earth, providing more rural areas of the planet the opportunity to access the internet.

As well as providing high-speed internet, the satellites will also be well situated for Earth observation.

Operating within orbits of between 330 and 580 kilometres above Earth, the vessels would have the capacity to take high resolution pictures or videos of the Earth’s surface.

60 Starlink satellites stacked for launch at SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida

60 Starlink satellites stacked for launch at SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida (Image: SpaceX)

SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites in May, with another 12,000 already approved by telecommunications companies.

SpaceX has also drawn attention to the greener, environmentally friendly aspect of the satellites.

Because they will operate in an area where the atmosphere is thick, the satellites will eventually be dragged down and burnt up – creating a minimal risk of orbital debris which has effectively plagued the area between space and Earth’s atmosphere.



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