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SpaceX BFR Lands $41M From USAF

Science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein had experienced air travel in the 1940's, but wasn't exactly, well, transported by the whole idea. He dreamed of something faster, as we see in his 1951 novel Between Planets:

When he weighed in [at Albuquerque] he ran into another new security wrinkle. "Got a camera in that stuff, son?" the weightmaster had inquired as he passed over his bags.

"No. Why?"

"Because we'll fog your film when we fluoroscope, that's why." Apparently X-ray failed to show any bombs hidden in his underwear; his bags were handed back and he went aboard - the winged-rocket Santa Fe Trail, shuttling between the Southwest and New Chicago. Inside, he fastened his safety belts, snuggled down into the cushions, and waited.

At first the noise of the blast-off bothered him more than the pressure. But the noise dopplered away as they passed the speed of sound while the acceleration grew worse; he blacked out.

He came to as the ship went into free flight, arching in a high parabola over the plains...

[He] listened half-heartedly to the canned description coming out of the loudspeaker of the country over which they were falling. Presently, near Kansas City, the sky turned from black to purple again, the air foils took hold, and the passengers again felt weight as the rocket continued glider fashion on a long, screaming approach to New Chicago.
(Read more about Heinlein's winged rocket shuttle)

SpaceX's BFR (Big Effing Rocket) basically is an implementation of this idea for rapid transport point-to-point anywhere on Earth in less than an hour. Check out this great video, if you haven't seen Elon Musk's talk on the subject.


(SpaceX BFR concept video)

According to a U.S. Department of Defense contract published on October 19, 2017 on defense.gov, the new funding will go towards development of a new liquid oxygen and liquid methane engine for the department’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. Each Raptor engine is expected to have three times the thrust of SpaceX’s Merlin 1D engine that’s currently used in the Falcon 9. The heavy lift-capable engine will support the launch of heavier payloads including large military satellites into orbit, but also serve as the foundation for SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System, or more recently referred to as BFR.

Via teslarati.

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