Northrop Grumman’s XS-1 Supersonic Spaceplane Looks to Secure DARPA Contract

By: | November 14th, 2014

Image courtesy Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman’s XS-1 Spaceplane concept is competing with a few other companies in order to score a “space taxi” contract from the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA). To entice us, the company recently showed off early images of the XS-1.

Pam Melroy, deputy director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said, “The goal of the program is to fly 10 times in 10 days, and to achieve Mach 10.”

For those of you who are unaware, a supersonic spaceplane traveling at Mach 10 is a mind-blowing 7,612 miles per hour!

The main goal, however, apart from speed, is lowering space flight costs, with DARPA wanting an unmanned spaceplane featuring a reusable first stage to save money and allow for multiple flights.

DARPA’s Video Concept:

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