Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Starship Troopers!

Or not...

This was taken from Stars and Stripes. October 17th.

The Pentagon wants to rocket troops through space to hot spots anywhere on the globe within two hours, and planners spent two days last month discussing how to do it, USA Today reported Wednesday, citing military documents.
Civilian and military officials held a two-day conference at the National Security Space Office to plan development of the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion -- or SUSTAIN -- program. Attendees included senior Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force officers. No further meetings have been scheduled, according to the report.
Marines launched the concept after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. They needed the "capability to transport small, mission-tailored units through space from any point on the globe to a contingency at any other point on the globe" within minutes of an order, the paper reported, sourcing to a Marine document.
Private rocket pioneer Burt Rutan says the plan is technologically possible. Rutan’s SpaceShipOne was the first privately financed vehicle to carry people into space, the paper noted.
"This has never been done," Rutan told USA Today in an e-mail. "However, it is feasible. It would be a relatively expensive way to get the troops on the ground, but it could be done."
But critics are skeptical, citing the need to use an unarmored carrier to rein in fuel costs, and the need to have it re-launch from the trouble spot after a mission.
The concept defies physics and the reality of what a small number of lightly armed troops could accomplish in enemy territory, John Pike, a military analyst who runs, told USA Today.
"This isn’t even science fiction," Pike said. "It’s fantasy."


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