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Boeing pulls out of DARPA space plane program

22 Jan 2020, 21:28 UTC
Boeing pulls out of DARPA space plane program
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An artist’s conception shows Boeing’s Phantom Express XS-1 space plane in flight. (Boeing Illustration)
The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says Boeing is dropping out of its Experimental Spaceplane Program immediately, grounding the XS-1 Phantom Express even though technical tests had shown the hypersonic space plane concept was feasible.
“The detailed engineering activities conducted under the Experimental Spaceplane Program affirmed that no technical showstoppers stand in the way of achieving DARPA’s objectives, and that a system such as XSP would bolster national security,” DARPA said in a statement issued today.
In a follow-up statement, Boeing confirmed that it’s ending its role in the program after a detailed review.
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