Experimental Spaceplane XS-1: From the Past to the Future – Revolutionary Access to Space
Jess Sponable, Program Manager XS-1, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA
Tom Ingersoll, Head of Skybox Imaging
The presentation will briefly explore the history of reusable access to space, the promise and the failures. Technical challenges will be identified along with progress made by both the commercial and government sectors to retire the risk. DARPA’s new Experimental Spaceplane XS-1 program goals, vehicle concepts, schedule and status will be described. A key XS-1 goal of “aircraft-like operations” including flying 10 times in 10 days will be offered as a disruptive agent for change: helping push the commercial and government sectors into the 21st century of routine, reliable and low cost spaceflight. Aircraft-like reusable flight to space portends an exciting future that promises to revolutionize both personal and commercial spaceflight. A tribute will be made to the power of one: the fallen Titans who helped forge today’s industry including Lt Gen Danny Graham, Pete Conrad, Paul Klevatt and Dr. Bill Gaubatz. Four who made a difference, each in their own way.