US Military Wants to Refuel, Resupply with Space Travel
The United States Military's Air Mobility Command says that refueling and resupplying the U.S. military may soon be done from space.
Air Force General Carlton Everhart is the head of Air Mobility Command. He told VOA, "If I can resupply from space, I can go across the globe in about 30 minutes." He added, "I do truly believe that is the next step."
Everhart said the time gained by using hypersonic spacecraft could keep the U.S. ahead in "the speed of war." That is an area where countries such as China and Russia are trying to make gains.
The idea of using space to deliver supplies is more possible than ever before, say supporters. Many companies that Everhart hopes to partner with are already working on this kind of technology.
Eric Stallmer is president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. The group, based in Washington D.C., supports the development of the space flight industry. Stallmer said that companies like SpaceX and Sierra Nevada, and even foreign companies, could be good partners for the U.S. government.
Cost, however, remains an important issue for space flight.
Experts say the need to transport supplies through space must be greater than the financial costs. For example, it might only be used during very important operations.
Todd Harrison is a space and defense expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 is an example of a situation where speed was more important than cost. The attack resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
"Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference," he said.
Everhart is not only interested in launching supplies from one point on Earth to another. He also wants to use satellites to position supplies in space.
Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are studying the idea of space refueling stations. There also are plans to change refueling vehicles into habitats in space once they have been used.
However, it is still unclear when these technologies will be fully developed: Experts have estimated from two to more than 10 years.
But this does not stop Everhart from dreaming.
"The train is leaving the station and we're going to be on it. And I'm not going to be on the caboose...I'm going to be in the front," he said.
Everhart said his team is already writing proposals for the government to make space resupply a possibility for the military in the future.
I'm Phil Dierking.
1.go across 穿过
I see you go across the road.
2.make gains 取得进展
You can continue to make gains if you call a few people who can help you close an important deal.
3.change into 把...变为
She could change into a different outfit in two minutes
4.space flight 航天
This is why he approves of the development of manned space flight.
5."Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack.
put down 记下；镇压；制止
I put down my magazine to look between seats for the Spanish speaker.
I put down my observations in it.
6."Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack.
be under attack 受到袭击
The town has been under attack by rebel groups for a week now.
The police came under attack from angry crowds.
空军上将卡尔顿·埃弗哈特（Carlton Everhart）是空中机动司令部的指挥官。他告诉美国之音，如果能从太空中获得补给，我可以在30分钟内环游地球 。他补充说，“我真的相信接下来这个目标会实现 。”
埃里克·斯托尔莫（Eric Stallmer）是商业航天联合会主席。该组织总部位于华盛顿特区，致力于支持航天飞行工业的发展 。斯托尔莫指出，像太空探索技术公司（SpaceX）和内华达（Sierra Nevada）等公司，甚至是外国公司，都可能成为美国政府的好伙伴 。
托德·哈里森（Todd Harrison）是华盛顿战略与国际研究中心的太空和防务专家。他说，2012年，美国驻利比亚班加西领事馆遇袭就是速度重于成本的典型案例 。这次袭击导致美国大使克里斯托弗·史蒂文斯（Christopher Stevens）和其他三名美国人死亡 。