Air Force study says US government should get serious about reusable rocketsEnlarge / SpaceX launches the NROL-76 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office on Monday morning. (credit: SpaceX)
On Monday morning, SpaceX successfully launched a national security payload for the first time, cracking the market for US military missions.

The first stage of the rocket then landed within a couple of miles from where it had taken off less than 10 minutes earlier, marking the tenth time SpaceX has safely returned a first stage to Earth.
The US military has taken note of these achievements, as well as those of Blue Origin and its reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle—and that company’s ambitions to also build a large, reusable orbital rocket. “This has opened up a window of opportunity and gotten the attention of serious people,” Charles Miller, an aerospace consultant and president of NexGen Space, told Ars.
To that end Miller partnered with a number of Air Force officers at Air University and former Air Force officials to study the potential effects of lower-cost access to space on the US military.

The “Fast Space” report, which has been briefed to senior officials in the US military and government in recent months, concludes that the US Air Force can benefit from these commercial developments.
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