Skip to comments.US Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Passes 500 Days in Orbit
Posted on 04/24/2014 9:19:06 AM PDT by lbryce
An unmanned military space plane has achieved a major longevity milestone, zipping around Earth for 500 days on a clandestine mission for the United States government.
The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane launched on its third and latest mission on Dec. 11, 2012. As of today (April 24), the vehicle has been aloft for 500 days far longer than its officially stated maximum orbital lifetime of 270 days.
"Clearly, and understandably, the Air Force initially set the expected parameters [of the X-37B] conservatively, not really knowing what it could do until it was tested which is what they are doing now," said Joan Johnson-Freese, professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. [Photos: The X-37B Space Plane's 3rd Mystery Mission]
"Personally, I think it's commendable that they are pushing it to the extent that they appear to be," Johnson-Freese told Space.com via email. "That's the only way to really know what it can do."
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Video:US Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane
A tiny robotic space shuttle the reusable X-37B looks like NASA's now-retired space shuttle, only much smaller. The robotic space plane is 29 feet (8.8 meters) long by 9.5 feet (2.9 m) tall with a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.6 m). Its payload bay is the size of a pickup truck bed. (The space shuttle's payload bay, by comparison, could fit two entire X-37Bs inside.)
That nobody knows a damm about what the thing is or does will only serve to be a good thing in regards to our enemies.
You might find this interesting for your legion of fans.
Those can’t be real space suits. They look even worse than the ones on Star Trek.
Leonard Nimoy revealed that those “space suits” were made from shower curtains.
Probably the hydrazine made them do it.
Spock obviously didn’t know what shower curtains were really for, if you take my meaning.
Let’s ask the Chinese military. They’ll tell us all about it.
Why don’t they cancel this thing and keep the A10 or develop the next A10?
Nom Nom Nom
I hadn’t noticed (too busy making sure the post was done right) but I definitely agree. They seem almost laughable, the comparison to Star Trek is right on.
LOL. Rod Serling would be proud. :-)
NOT AS FUNNY AS THIS ONE..................
I can tell my space suit is closed, because yellow and blue make green! Thanks Ziploc!
I think that Zero cancelled the program by decree so it will stay right where it is; its mission is classified, but it was probably intended to test-bed orbital space asset defense and attrition. Zero would be against anything that enhances national defense. Thanks l.
I wonder what altitude it was orbiting?
Could it have been a LEO and it was able to boost
itself up as the orbit decayed, allowing longer
closer observation of earth?
At least some security is being held, anyway.
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