For some at least.
The Pentagon is spending billions of dollars on new forms of space warfare to counter the growing risk of missile attack from rogue states and the "satellite killer" capabilities of China.
Congress has allocated funds to develop futuristic weapons and intelligence systems that operate beyond the Earth\’s atmosphere as America looks past Iraq and Afghanistan to the wars of the future.
There will be those who gorge on the contracts sent out on an emergency basis.
The most ambitious project in a new $459 billion (£221.5 billion) defence spending Bill is the Falcon, a reusable "hypersonic vehicle" that could fly at six times the speed of sound and deliver 12,000lb of bombs anywhere in the world within minutes.
Unfortunately we\’ve already been involved in that one and I don\’t think we passed the required standards. Hafnium carbide is a) the most refractory (ie, highest melting point known) material and b) bloody hard to make.
This though looks much more interesting:
Darpa is also developing a small unmanned launch vehicle that would provide "responsive and affordable" access to space, for less than $5 million per launch. The first test flight was made in March.
Getting into orbit for that sort of price is an order of magnitude improvement. Only one more order of magnitude needed and we\’ll be "there". "There" being just about anywhere, for as has been pointed out, once you\’re in orbit, you\’re not half way to the Moon, you\’re half way to anywhere.