NAVY SECRETS
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John Lear's Files
The Navy's Secrets
US Space Marines - The Reality
Project Hot Eagle
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Marines in Spaaaaaace!

"After three years of being laughed out of meetings, the U.S. Marine Corps' futuristic plans to deploy through space may finally be getting some traction," notes Aviation Week's spunky new spin-off, Defense Technology International.

    Although the chuckle factor hasn't altogether disappeared, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Darpa are beginning a study of options for a reusable upper-stage space travel vehicle -- the same kind of technology that the Marines might need for a ride halfway across the globe.

    The effort is called "Hot Eagle," and it could be the first step forward in the Marine Corps' hopes for space travel. Within minutes of bursting into the atmosphere beyond the speed of sound -- and dispatching that ominous sonic boom -- a small squad of Marines could be on the ground and ready to take care of business within 2 hours. [One presentation muses that the capsule might later be picked up by a Osprey or by a "balloon cable and C-17" transport plane. Or, the Marines might "hike out," and "leave [the] crew capsule behind." -- ed.]

    The Marine Corps calls the concept the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion Capability (Sustain). This plan, a growing group of Marine supporters say, is the natural evolution of the service's proclivity for expeditionary warfare that began decades ago with amphibious landings...

    The concept is to deliver strategic equipment or a small squad of soldiers to any point on the globe -- even the most hard-to-reach location -- within hours of need. Once on the ground, those soldiers can carry out strategically critical missions like reconnaissance or destroying a specific target.

    At least, that's their pitch

SOURCE: Defensetech.org

Project Hot Eagle
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Branson's Virgin Galactic Space Ship One

SUSTAIN (military)

Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion or SUSTAIN is a concept first proposed in 2002 by the United States Marine Corps to deploy Marines via spaceflight to any location on Earth.

Project Hot Eagle, launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory, is an investigation into the development and use of suborbital spacecraft to fulfill this vision. Hot Eagle would use a craft based on a design similar to Space Ship One, which could launch a squad on a suborbital trajectory in two stages and deliver them anywhere on two hours notice.

Extraction would have to come by other means. Future proposed capabilities for the Marine Corps include launching into low earth orbit to choose the time of an attack.

Delivery of soldiers by rocket has been proposed before, including by General John B. Medaris, head of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in the 1950s. The lander itself is designed to hold a 13 man squad and land in almost any terrain at any time, avoiding diplomatic concern for airspace rights.

SOURCE: Wikipedia Project Hot Eagle

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