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XS-1: A US Military Space Plane in Pictures (Gallery)

Artist's Concept of DARPA's XS-1 Vehicle

DARPA

The U.S. military is developing the XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane to launch space missions faster and cheaper than ever before. See photos and images of the DARPA-led XS-1 space plane project in this Space.com gallery. Pictured here: An artist's concept of DARPA's Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1).

Northrop Grumman's XS-1 Space Plane Design

Northrop Grumman

On Aug. 21, 2014, Northrop Grumman unveiled its design concept for the XS-1 military space plane. The company is partnering with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic on the project for DARPA. [Read the Full Story Here.

XS-1 Space Plane Ascent Illustration

DARPA

This DARPA artist's concept depicts the launch of a U.S. military XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane carrying an rocket booster and satellite payload on its back. The XS-1 space plane could launch horizontally or vertically, depending on its final design. Read the Full Story Here.

XS-1 Space Plane Launch Concept

DARPA

A rocket upper stage carrying a satellite payload launches into orbit in this artist's concept of the U.S. military's XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane, a project overseen by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Read the Full Story Here.

XS-1 Space Plane: Boeing Illustration

Boeing

This Boeing illustration depicts a possible design for the XS-1 experimental space plane, a robotic reusable military spacecraft envisioned for launching satellites and payloads into orbit. The XS-1 space plane project is overseen by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Read the Full Story Here.

DARPA XS-1 Space Plane Concepts

DARPA

This image, taken from a DARPA presentation, shows several potential designs for the U.S. military's planned XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane, an innovative robotic spacecraft project to launch satellites into orbit cheaply and efficiently.

XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane Project

DARPA

The U.S. military's planned XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane project aims to build a robotic spacecraft capable of launching satellites into orbit much faster and cheaper than ever before. This slide, taken from a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) presentation, depicts some details about the innovative concept.

Air Force's X-37B Space Plane: OTV-2 Hangar

Boeing

DARPA's XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane program is not the first military space plane project. In fact, the U.S. Air Force has two operational robotic space planes in service today. Those two spacecraft, twin versions of the X-37B spacecraft shown above, are capable of long-duration missions in Earth orbit and have flown three missions since 2010.

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