US military take new step in Space

#1
I suppose with NASA funding getting hammered it was a good move to get the programme across into the Pentagon but it must be causing a bit of concern in one or two nations around the Earth.

I doubt if folk won't mind this going forward if there is a degree of openness about it (such as you would find in a typical NASA programme) but secrecy will have the paranoid jumping on the bandwagon in short order.

What are the implications for this in the mid to longer term? Lot cheaper to put an unmanned veh in orbit than a manned. Big payload available here too.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8601172.stm
 
#2
Unmanned is definitely the way ahead in near-Earth orbit spaceflight. Doing away with crew-space and support in simply a no-brainer, payload wise. True, there'll always be occasions why it's necessary to send people but there are a lot of routine tasks that can be carried out more efficiently by automated or remote-controlled means. It's not that much different in principle from drones, after all.

Of course,

"If in fact it lives up to its speculated hype, it could be a manoeuvrable satellite. You could move it to, for example, hover over the straits of Taiwan and it could evade attempts to shoot it down. It could do a lot of things that up until this point have been mostly fiction."
is a bit of a giveaway.
 

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