Military space plane dead after Boeing withdraws

Military Tech
Boeing DARPA

A rendering of Boeing’s Phantom Express. (DARPA / YouTube)

MYSTERY WIRE — Boeing has withdrawn from developing a space plane known as the Phantom Express, according to statements reported by Space.com and Space News.

The announcement comes two years into the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) effort to develop a reusable plane that could deliver satellites to space using methods cheaper than traditional rocket launches.

“Following a detailed review, Boeing is ending our role in the Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) program immediately,” company representatives said in a statement to Space.com dated Jan. 23.

This effectively ends the XSP program; however, the objectives of the program remain of interest, and may be explored in separate, competitively selected efforts.
Jard Adams, DARPA communications chief Jared Adams, in a statement to Space.com.

MORE DETAILS: DARPA scraps XS-1 military space plane project after Boeing drops out on Space.com

Boeing has dealt with problems with its Starliner project after a capsule failed in December to achieve the proper orbit to dock with the International Space Station. Another report this week from ARS Technica indicate NASA is scrutinizing Starliner’s thrusters, which appear to have been overstressed in tests.

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