December 5, 2022

Leaked documents from the US Pentagon reveal it is interested in employing a fleet of SpaceX’s Starship rockets as a ‘quick reaction force’ to stop ‘a future Benghazi-style attack.’

The documents, obtained by The Intercept, were drafted by the Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), which formed a partnership with the Elon Musk-owned company to investigate the technical feasibility of using the massive rocket within the next five years.

These militarized Starships would carry both cargo and humans and get to anywhere in the world in less than one hour.

The documents also highlight three potential uses for a fleet: an alternate transportation method to the Pacific Ocean, delivering an Air Forced deployable base and ‘Embassy Support.’

 

Leaked documents from the US Pentagon reveal it is interested in employing a fleet of SpaceX’s Starship rockets as a ‘quick reaction force’ to stop ‘a future Benghazi-style attack.’ Picture is from the Pentagon documents 

SpaceX’s 165-foot-tall rocket has been on the US government’s radar for quite some time – last year a report revealed the Air Force was looking to employ its own fleet.

USTRANSCOM is looking for a rocket that is equivalent to a C-17 cargo plane, known as Globemaster III, which can carry up to 170,900 pounds and airdrop 102 paratroopers.

And although the partnership is still very new, the document highlights how the government branch would utilize a fleet of Starship rockets.

The first use is TPFDD (Time Phased Force Deployment Data) support for Pacific OPLAN (Operation Plan).

‘PTP space transportation provides an alternative method for logistics delivery to support adaptive basing operations by enabling theater direct delivery,’ reads the document.

This scenario suggest the Starship would be used during a possible altercation with China, according to Drive Tesla Canada.

The second use suggests SpaceX rockets could deliver an Air Force deployable air base system, described in the documents as ‘a collection of shelters, vehicles, construction equipment and other gear that can be prepositioned around the globe and moved to any place the USAF needs to stand-up air operations.’

The third is Embassy Support, which notes ‘a rapid theater direct delivery capability from the U.S. to an African bare base would prove extremely important in supporting the Department of State’s mission in Africa,’ according to the document.

Using a Starship, according to the documents, ‘could deter non-state actors from aggressive acts toward the United States.’

And although the report does not go into detail, suggesting the rocket would travel from the US to African could be their way of saying to stop an attack like the one in 2012.

Almost a decade ago, armed militants stormed a US government facility in Libya and killed four Americans, resulting in an outcry that help arrived too late.

The idea of using the Starship means help will arrive in less than 60 minutes.

Not only is the rocket able to carry a large amount of cargo, but its ability to be reused is what makes it so attractive – this feature reduces costs dramatically.

However, the document shows that it cost SpaceX $2.1 billion per launch, which is a hefty price tag considering the Musk-owned company has lost six rockets during testing.

And even though the Pentagon is interesting in obtaining its own fleet, SpaceX has yet to send one into space.

All testing of the Starship has been on hold since last year, due to the Federal Aviation Administration conducting an assessment of activities at the company’s Starship base in Boca Chica, Texas.

Musk, however, shared a tweet on June 14 saying: ‘Starship will be ready to fly next month. I was in the high bay & mega bay late last night reviewing progress.’

And in a second tweet that same day he shared: ‘We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter.’

The massive rocket’s initial use is to carry humans to Mars to eventually colonize the Red Planet.