The US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is looking to space as a way to quickly move critical cargo and personnel during time-sensitive contingencies, as well as to deliver humanitarian assistance. USTRANSCOM is teaming with SpaceX and XArc via Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) to explore innovative space transportation options. The XArc CRADA tasks are to determine global spaceport basing criteria for Point-to-Point space transportation and delivery, and assess the ground support and logistics requirements needed for integrating a spacelift capability. The research study evaluates ground support infrastructure requirements with regard to support facilities, cargo standardizations and logistics for materiel handling, mission dedicated equipment, supplies, materiel and personnel, and intermodal cargo transfer. International regulatory issues of air and space law are also addressed, as well as infrastructure security considerations.
The goal is to establish a seamless integration of air and space transport modalities to work through a variety of possible contingencies. The study considers a variety of emerging space transportation technologies in development by commercial service providers, and also considers Orbital Depots to determine viability of “space drop” supply logistics.