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The Ars Technica article SpaceX, Blue Origin have opened a “window of opportunity” for US Air Force links to an evocatively written Air University report titled: Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost Space Access for 21st Century Challenges

Available at this dot-mil address: http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/Research/documents/Space/Fast%20Space_Public_2017.pdf

The report laments the fact that some countries are just not as afraid of the nuclear deterrent as they used to be, and that the military satellites that make a deterrent possible and effective are also increasingly vulnerable. Of course the report says many other things as well.

Now they can't title the report Cheap Space:, but I'm wondering, if they chose the title Fast Space: how fast are they talking about? Is this really about a bunch of low-cost anti-satellite payloads on cheap, commercial rockets ready to go at a moment's notice?

Beyond the compelling urgency, what exactly is the speed argument? How fast is Fast Space?

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It used to be called Operationally Responsive Access to Space. Fast means faster than now.

The faster the better, it is not clear there is a lower limit, faster than launch on demand. But anything would be better than now, which is multiple months if not years out.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'll continue to try to read the report - it is hard to skim because of the style of writing chosen (fifty pages of catchy one-liners) but is this dawning new capability weeks, or minutes? Is the idea that rockets will kept chilled, fueled and ready to go "on retainer" the way lawyers are kept? That certainly sounds intimidating come to think about it! ;) Ha! Lawyers on rockets omg! Sharks with lasers analog. See also youtu.be/gV6hP9wpMW8?t=152 $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ On page A-1 (pp. 42) in the FAQs section, there is an interesting answer to We have tried this before, and all previous attempts failed. How is this different? The answer seems to be the recent involvement of billionaires in spaceflight. This is addressed in several places in the report. Apparently when you have large amounts of money and small numbers of people controlling it, things can happen faster. ;) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 8:06

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