You know nothing of the French effort in the Flanders Campaign of May-June 1940. You can mock the French effort at stopping - successfully I might add - the German attack through the Gembloux Gap in Belgium in one of the first great tank vs tank battles in history. Or, try the French attack on Stonne by two French tanks which stopped a Panzer battalions advance cold. If French tanks were abandoned, it was generally because they ran out of fuel due to their design considerations not because of cowardice on the part of the French tankers.
Since it is unlikely that the USAF is actually going to be using a penetration bomber in the future (given those advances in detection and tracking), the actual strikes will be made by the advanced weapons to be carried aboard the bomber. These would include hyper-sonic cruise missiles with extended ranges, something which could reach and touch someone in short order deep inside their territory. This would seem to dictate a bomber with a large capacity for precision weapons with very long loiter times. It's not going to look anything at all like the B1 or B2, probably more like a stealth-upped version of a 1930s Buck Rogers flying wing.
@Jerry, that's not the "least number of people in the work force," but the the labor participation rate. The number of employees has grown over Obama's administration. The labor participation rate was expected to decline during this period as well due to the start of Boomers retiring. What really killed the labor participation rate was Dubya's Great Recession which drove it down to levels not seen since before the 1970s, when women started entering the general workforce in a major way.
The US strategic recon program Corona used to snatch returning film pods out of the air way back in the 1960s, so this concept is not entirely new. Further, the Atlas rockets were called "stage and a half" because the first two booster engines dropped away when the vehicle gained altitude and used the single remaining rocket as a second stage. The Atlas never had a second stage separation like the Titan I did, whose entire first stage separated. So the concept of having a portion of the first stage detach for potential capture also just blends ideas from the two early programs from US rocket history, but with an unusual twist.
Since the first stage does not stay over the Cape, just how is it supposed to return to the Cape to land when it's fuel is completely expended from the launch? That really will be an advance in space systems and rocket technology. What SpaceX needs to do is to buy an island downrange which they could use as a landing site, shades of James Bond or Marvel super-villains.
@piglet, so you endorse partisan decisions with regard to make defense and security decisions. Glad to know that appears to be the conservative posture of being an American patriot.
Not doing Kool-aid at all compared to the Republitards who lapped up the spew coming out of Condi, Rummy, Dick and the Dummy for eight years. It's funny how the election laws all need to be changed now after those states improved voting access years ago in order to avoid hard DoJ sanctions for their voters rights violations but now find that actually allowing decent access to voting means conservative politicians get booted by real citizens. Just 'fess up that you'd rather just go back to the slaveocracy of your forebears rather than live in a real democracy. And don't give that spew about "a republic" because it doesn't mean anything in this context. I'd challenge you to define just how a republic differs from a democracy in their normal usage, just in case you can't resist the urge to quote Franklin.
The Russians decided to continue to develop their kerosene/LOx rocket designs. NASA chose to go in other directions. US liquid hydrogen fueled engines could probably be considered decades ahead of any Russian designs as well. The same likely applies to solid rockets. It all depends on where you focus your efforts. The classic kerosene/LOx rocket engine is going to be hard to beat for launch to low earth orbit once economics dominate the equation.
The Shuttle Program was scheduled to end before Obama got elected as President. Spew your bigotry someplace else or choose a different topic to address when complaining about our ELECTED President. At least we know he was elected compared to the previous Pretender squatting in the Oval Office.
Just how is it a narrower market than it was 40 years ago. Are there fewer militaries interested in launchers than 40 years ago - after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the release of the nations in the Warsaw Pact? Are there fewer private enterprises involved in actual launches than 40 years ago? Yeah, there are fewer vehicle builders as some might understand them, but that was a political decision to allow monopoly power to be established in the business. We have pretty much the same number of commercial airframe builders that we did 40 years ago and every last one can mount at least two different engine designs. How is this any different?