“Blackstar” Orbiter System Shelved? March 6, 2006Posted by nukemhill in Artificial Intelligence, Master's Thesis, Robotics.
Here’s an article from Aviation Weekly about a Pentagon program, called “Blackstar,” to build a 2-stage to orbit “space plane” orbiter launcher. Sound interesting. The intriguing piece to me was that the actual orbiter that was to be deployed had a small bay that could be used to launch micro-sats. I’m curious about the feasability of launching ‘sat swarms’. Multiple satellites that were built to work together in various capacities. Anti-satellites; dispersed sats for imaging large areas on the ground (or in space, for that matter); construction sats; etc.. How easy would it be to refuel them ongoingly? How small can we make them right now? How much smaller can they get, before they lose viability in outer space?
Lots of intriguing ideas. From the sounds of it, the orbiter was shelved, but maybe there’s a follow-up? What kind of work is being done privately?