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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Ripley's Avatar
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    USAF X-37B Aloft

    Tax Dollars at Work. Speculation abounds ..

    Now that the X-37B space plane is spotted, what is its mission? - CSMonitor.com



    Now that the X-37B space plane is spotted, what is its mission?

    Amateur astronomers say they have found the X-37B in an orbit that takes it over Afghanistan and Iraq. A former Air Force missile officer offers up four possible uses for the space plane – and weapon is least likely.





    In a testing procedure, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle taxis on the flightline on March 30 at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Fla.
    US Air Force/Sipa Press/Newscom/File




    By Peter Grier, Staff writer / May 25, 2010 Washington



    Now we know where the X-37B is. Amateur sky-watchers have spotted the Air Force miniature space plane traveling in low-earth orbit at an inclination that takes it over Iraq and Afghanistan, among other nations.



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    But this big question remains: What the heck is the X-37B doing up there, anyway?
    The Air Force isn’t saying. It’s secret. “The actual on-orbit activities we do classify,” said Gary Payton, Air Force Undersecretary for Space Programs, during a conference call with reporters in late April.


    The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an unmanned experimental platform that resembles the space shuttle, only smaller. It’s a program that began at NASA in 1999 and then moved to the Pentagon in 2004.


    On April 22 an Atlas V rocket roared into the sky from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the X-37B on its first orbital test flight. At that moment the reusable craft vanished, as far as the general public was concerned. The Air Force did not say where in space the X-37B was going.


    But last week a team of sky-watchers with members who specialize in tracking orbiting objects announced that they’ve spotted what they are certain is the X-37B in space, about 255 miles up, circling the earth every 90 minutes.
    The X-37B is traveling in a an area bounded by 40 degrees north latitude (the mid-Atlantic of the US, Spain, the Middle East) and 40 degrees south latitude (Argentina, South Africa, Australia), according to Greg Roberts, a South African member of the spotting team.


    The Air Force says that the performance of the system itself is the biggest thing this launch is testing. They want to see how the X-37B performs in orbit, how it flies itself back to the ground, and how quickly they can get it ready to re-launch. The goal is to be able to turn the X-37B around as fast as the Air Force could turn around a high-performance spy plane such as the SR-71 Blackbird.
    “That’s [a time period] measured in several days, or maybe 10, 15 days or less, something like that,” said Mr. Payton in April.


    But an Atlas V launch, combined with weeks in space, is awfully expensive just to test the X-37B. The spacecraft surely will have another purpose, and it’s likely the Air Force is currently testing the system’s performance in that unknown capacity, as well.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Maybe it's getting ready for 'Project Blue Beam".

  3. #3
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    There could be several uses and intended 'purposes', but on a Defence basis, my guess is one would be taking out enemy satellites.

    The Chinese are getting to a point where their satellite technolocy will not lag very much, but their previous 'answer' to their technological lag when it came to outer atmosphere stuff was quite simple, and quite commonsensical. Just fire and explode rockets loaded with debris into the upper atmosphere, and let the orbiting debris take out the satellites.

    Just like when Nasa developed a zero gravity pen for a few million dollars, but the Russki's used a lead pencil. Simple answers can quite often solve or foil high tech paradigms.
    probes Aliens

  4. #4
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus Jones
    Maybe it's getting ready for 'Project Blue Beam".
    If it is then maybe make a pleasant change to all the muslim shit we keep hearing!

    Personaly I think taking out satelites is more likely, disappointing really.

  5. #5
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    Reminds me of the recent programme about Concorde. A US Spy Plane was asked to move 30 miles north from its current position. When asked why, the pilot was told that a passenger plane was heading near its position. The US pilots were all wrapped up in spacesuits while the passengers aboard Concorde were all in casual clothes sipping champagne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    A US Spy Plane was asked to move 30 miles north
    Erm, something wrong here. Howcome Concorde knows where the spy plane is?

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    Where's the UK one?

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    All very normal for the US if you ask me...they have a habit of doing exactly what they please..."for national security" of course...

  9. #9
    mud
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr R Sole View Post
    All very normal for the US if you ask me...they have a habit of doing exactly what they please...
    Why shouldn't they?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spliff View Post
    Where's the UK one?
    They're waiting for contenders of Robot Wars to come up with something usable.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Ripley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mud View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr R Sole View Post
    All very normal for the US if you ask me...they have a habit of doing exactly what they please...
    Why shouldn't they?
    With US duped, dumbed- down and de educated lower income taxpayers to pay for it all.

    STOP SUPPORTING THIS F*CKING SH*T .
    It is a vicious circle of expenditures resulting in hate that media stokes.

  12. #12
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    A US Spy Plane was asked to move 30 miles north
    Erm, something wrong here. Howcome Concorde knows where the spy plane is?
    Concorde didn't, but Military ATC did.

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