Thursday, October 9, 2008

F -111 Space launcher

Australia has successfully built small satellites like Fedsat but has completely kept out of building orbital rockets. Could that be changed? There's considerable interest in rapid response launchers by the military and civilian users. The French are looking into using a Rafale jet fighter to launch micro satellites. See below.

Now the RAAF will be replacing the F-111 in 2010. Why not let the private sector convert de-fanged versions of the old jets into space launchers? It would be a supersonic first stage that could quickly launch microsats into any latitude from just about anywhere. The system would service both civilian and military markets including the US. The government would need to be involved to cut through ITAR restrictions so some sort of private-public partnership would be required but we would have a have a very useful capability.

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Ralph Buttigieg
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