US preparing to build ‘Space Superhighway’ with pit stops for trips to Moon

The US military is preparing for a "space superhighway" complete with pit stops, with family trips to space looking to become the norm.

US Transportation Command and the US Space Force can see a future where people use a space superhighway.

The US system would see commercial partners and allies be able to make repeat and regular trips to the moon or even beyond.

It would be made possible by using multiple hubs where they could fill up fuel tanks, complete maintenance, and even throw out any rubbish.

They're now looking at getting the orbiting pit stops up and running sooner rather than later in a bid to beat China to completing their pods first.

Speaking on a panel at TRANSCOM at a National Defense Transportation Association seminar on space logistics, Space Force Brig. Gen. John Olson said: “We’ve seen stated policies, particularly by the Chinese,"

Olson continued: “I aim to help lead our nation forward in close collaboration with TRANSCOM and our other broad leadership elements to bring this into fruition first.

“Because that way, we set the standard, we set the doctrine, the governance among the principles that we believe in.

"And much like English is the language of the International Civil Aviation Organization, for space, I believe it needs to be English for space transportation and these broad logistics elements and transportation elements, not Mandarin.”

The US and China are already in a race to get back to the moon, with the first to complete the task of getting first picks at the coveted lunar real estate where a moon base could soon be built.

The 1967 Treaty of Outer Space prevents nations from claiming any part of the moon or a passage through space as sovereign territory, writes DefenseOne.

Olsen said: “They believe that the moon is manifest destiny for them. It is part of their economics, it is part of their security equation."

Also speaking on the panel, chief executive officer of the Exploration Architecture Corporation Sam Ximenes thinks the we'll be seeing these operations taking shape.

He said: “Within this decade, probably by the middle of the decade, we'll start to see lunar surface operations happening."

Last year saw more than $7.2 billion invested into small space companies focussing on accessing space and Earth's orbit, with Ximenes explaining that “we’re seeing that money move into the orbital domain, where they are looking at depots".

The whole project and superhighway would see a supply chain as more companies, and countries, get involved.

Ximenes said: “There’s going to be resupply missions, as we get bases there, there’s going to be the need to change out crews, so this space supply chain of the future is coming."

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