San Antonio company working with military, SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in world in an hour or less
A San Antonio company is partnering with the military and SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in the world in an hour using commercial spacecraft — including vertical-landing rockets built in Texas.
U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for moving military personnel and equipment around the world, said it’s working with Exploration Architecture, or XArc, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop “rapid transportation through space” capabilities.
XArc, with six employees, is responsible for determining what’s needed on the ground to launch and land commercial spacecraft around the world.
The collaboration is the latest development in Texas’ still-expanding role in space travel and could help the U.S. military more quickly respond to threats and humanitarian crises around the world.
The aim is to use commercial space vehicles, including SpaceX’s Starship, to deliver payloads anywhere in the world. Starship can carry loads of 220,000 pounds.
“Our role is to understand the ground support infrastructure required to make it happen,” XArc CEO Sam Ximenes said. “What are the ground facilities and cargo standardizations so that it is seamlessly integrated into the (military’s) current logistics system.”
His company is teaming with Houston engineering firm KBR to evaluate three types of rocket landing areas: rugged sites with no infrastructure, remote sites with limited support and mature sites that have established capabilities.
Related: NASA contractors stake out San Antonio’s place in space
The nine-person team is considering the logistics, including fuel and cargo requirements, needed to support spacecraft around the world, Ximenes said.
“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload (170,900 pounds) anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said in a statement. “Think about that speed associated with the movement of transportation of cargo and people.”
The companies could begin