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Keyword: spacewarfare

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  • Air Force Will Continue to Launch Mysterious X-37B Space Plane

    03/22/2012 9:00:20 PM PDT · by U-238 · 23 replies · 3+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/22/2012 | Stew Magnuson
    What payloads are aboard the Air Force’s X-37B space plane, which has been orbiting the Earth for more than a year, remains top secret. Gen. William L. Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, was peppered with questions about its purpose at a gathering of Washington, D.C.-based defense reporters March 22. He remained tight-lipped about the mystery spacecraft’s mission, but did say that the service has no intention of purchasing any more of the winged, reusable vehicles, which resemble a smaller version of NASA’s now returned space shuttle. “It is doing very well on orbit,” he said. “It has had...
  • Will Space Battles Be Fought with Laser Weapons?

    03/22/2012 1:34:51 AM PDT · by U-238 · 33 replies · 2+ views
    Life's Little Mysteries ^ | 3/16/2012 | Adam Hadhazy
    What would science fiction be without laser beams? From handheld ray guns to spaceship-mounted turbolasers, the futuristic weapon of choice definitely involves bright, colorful blasts of energy. In the early 21st century, projectiles still remain the standard means of inflicting damage from a distance. Yet continued research into "directed-energy" weapons by the United States military, among others, could someday bring lasers to a battlefield near you. Lasers are already used in guidance, targeting and communication applications, but significant technological obstacles stand in front of turning them into weapons by themselves. For certain niche scenarios, lasers might prove themselves ideal. It...
  • U.S. wary of China space weapons

    02/09/2011 4:54:33 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    UPI ^ | 2/7/2011 | UPI
    Senior Pentagon officials are sounding concern over China's development of weapons designed to shoot down satellites or jam communication signals. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Gregory Schulte said China's project was becoming a "matter of concern" for the United States. Space, he told defense and intelligence officials while unveiling a 10-year strategy for security in space, "is no longer the preserves of the United States and the Soviet Union, at the time in which we could operate with impunity." "There are more competitors, more countries that are launching satellites ... and we increasingly have to worry about...
  • US and China launched space weapon tests: documents

    02/02/2011 8:22:56 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    AFP via Google News ^ | 2/11/2010 | AFP via Google News
    The United States and China both used advanced missiles to blow up their own satellites in a mutual show of military strength, documents published in Thursday's Telegraph newspaper showed. The memos, leaked by the WikiLeaks website, revealed that the US responded to China's 2007 destruction of a weather satellite by blowing up its own malfunctioning satellite in a "test" strike. The US insisted at the time that it undertook the operation to prevent the satellite returning to earth with a toxic fuel tank which would pose a health hazard. A leaked cable sent from the US embassy in Beijing in...
  • Russians at work on military spaceplane

    02/02/2011 4:43:38 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 2/2/2011 | Dan Thisdell and Alexander Zudin
    Russian Space Forces researchers are working on an unmanned reusable spacecraft similar to the US Air Force's Boeing X-37 orbital test vehicle, the head of the armed forces unit dedicated to military space operations has revealed. Oleg Ostapenko, speaking just weeks after the end of the X-37B's maiden, 220-day mission, said: "Something has been done along these lines, but as to whether we will use it, only time will tell." A move by Russia to develop a reusable spaceplane harks back to the Soviet Union's Buran space shuttle project. Buran was similar in concept and size to NASA's Space Shuttle,...
  • Russian answer to U.S. reusable robotic spacecraft in the offing

    01/27/2011 11:50:23 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    RIA Novosti ^ | 1/28/2011 | RIA Novosti
    Russian researchers are working on an unmanned spacecraft similar to the U.S. Boeing X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, Space Troops chief Oleg Ostapenko said on Thursday. He said, however, it was not clear as yet how it would be used. "Something has been done along these lines, but as to whether we will use it, only time will tell," Ostapenko said. The Boeing X-37, used for orbital spaceflight missions, has a length of over 29 ft (8.9 m) and features two angled tail fins. The spaceplane's first orbital mission was launched on April 22, 2010 with an Atlas V rocket.
  • AF's X-37B Historical Landing Advances Space Vehicle Technologies

    12/08/2010 9:06:47 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies
    ASDN News ^ | 12/8/2010 | ASDN News
    After 244 days in space since its launch April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the X-37B orbital test vehicle landing marks the Air Force's latest step in experimental test missions to improve the service's space capabilities, officials said here Dec. 6. The 11,000-pound OTV made an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m., allowing the Air Force to begin evaluation of its functions as a satellite communications, weather and material technology asset, said Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs Richard McKinney. "We're in a very serious and important business of...
  • X-37B Prepared For Expanded Orbital Test

    12/07/2010 1:09:44 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/07/2010 | Guy Norris
    The U.S. Air Force says the second planned mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) will “expand the operating envelope” of the autonomous space vehicle, potentially increasing the orbital cross-range and capability of landing in stronger crosswinds. Richard McKinney, Air Force undersecretary for space programs, says the second test X-37B—OTV-2—is being prepared in Boeing’s California space facilities for transfer “soon” to Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. From there it will be launched on an Atlas V in the March-April 2011 time period. Lt. Col. Troy Giese, X-37B program manager from the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (Afrco), which manages the...
  • What Could X-37B Do?

    12/04/2010 12:49:40 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 22 replies · 1+ views
    DoD Buzz ^ | 12/3/2010 | Colin Clark
    The wonderfully sort-of-secret X-37B is back on terra firma after a long stay in space. Very little information beyond its appearance, dimensions and the fact that the Air Force is deploying it is known about the vehicle, which looks a lot like a mini space shuttle. The vehicle can stay in orbit for at least nine months. As someone who spent five years at Space News — much of that time covering intelligence issues — I’m going to engage in some informed speculation. It could take advanced sensors into space for testing and, probably, allow sensors to operate from the...
  • Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Successfully Completes 1st Flight

    12/03/2010 5:10:12 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies
    Boeing ^ | 12/3/2010 | Boeing
    Boeing today announced the successful de-orbit and landing of the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), also known as the X-37B, for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO). The X-37B, shown here in a photo from before its launch, landed at 1:16 a.m. Pacific time today, concluding its more than 220-day experimental test mission. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on April 22.
  • Vandenberg sets stage for unmanned spacecraft

    12/02/2010 9:18:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies
    Lompoc Record ^ | 12/03/2010 | Janene Scully
    After bidding farewell to more than 1,900 space vehicles, Vandenberg Air Force Base has worked to instead get ready to greet one very high-profile spacecraft. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the Air Force’s unmanned miniature space shuttle, is scheduled to land as soon as Friday morning at Vandenberg’s 3-mile-long runway. “This is a historical first, not only for Vandenberg Air Force Base but also our Air Force and our nation to receive a recoverable spacecraft here and really take a step forward for unmanned space flight,” said Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander. Launched from the East Coast in...
  • Mystery Space Plane Coming Home, Still No Clue What it Does

    12/01/2010 8:42:50 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 29 replies · 2+ views
    Defense Tech ^ | 12/1/2010 | Defense Tech
    So, the world’s most mysterious UAV is set to return to Earth after spending nearly eight months in space where it did lord only knows what. Courtesy of the LA Times: The X-37, an unmanned spacecraft that resembles a miniature version of the space shuttle, is set to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base as early as this week — more than seven months after it was launched into orbit. The Air Force, which has been developing the X-37 pilotless space plane, has kept the ultimate purpose of the program hush-hush. It was launched April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla....
  • Preparations underway for first landing of X-37B

    11/30/2010 9:45:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies
    Vandenberg AFB News ^ | 11/30/2010 | 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
    Preparations for the first landing of the X-37B are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Space professionals from the 30th Space Wing will monitor the de-orbit and landing of the Air Force's first X-37B, called the Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1). While the exact landing date and time will depend on technical and weather considerations, it is expected to occur between Friday, December 3, and Monday, December 6, 2010.
  • Lockheed Martin submits bid for Space Fence

    11/19/2010 12:00:38 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 11 replies ^ | 11/19/2010 | Brahmand.Com
    Lockheed Martin has submitted its proposal for the next phase of Space Fence, a program that will revamp the way the US Air Force identifies and tracks objects in space. Space Fence will replace the existing Air Force Space Surveillance System, or VHF Fence, which has been in service since the early 1960s. The new system’s initial operational capability is scheduled for 2015. The contract is valued at more than $3.5 billion. For this next phase of the Space Fence program, the Air Force will award up to two preliminary design review contracts worth up to a total of $214...
  • Space Wars: beginning of a new era

    11/18/2010 11:56:49 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Brahmand.Com ^ | 11/19/2010 |
    On 11 January, 2007, China military tested its anti-satellite weapon or ASAT by hitting Fengyun-1C, a derelict Chinese weather satellite. The satellite was smashed into at least 900 pieces. The experiment drew considerable international criticism. The reports were confirmed by the then National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe. For the first known time in history, a missile launched from the ground destroyed an orbiting satellite. This provocative action by China highlighted a new paradigm shift in the worldwide military strategy.
  • 'Space fence' passes design review

    11/03/2010 11:38:08 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 1+ views
    UPI ^ | 11/3/2010 | UPI
    A project to give the U.S. Air Force enhanced space surveillance capability for detecting and tracking space objects has passed its system design review. The Raytheon Co. said the system design review of its "Space Fence" program included the prototyping of critical system elements to demonstrate increased technical and manufacturing readiness levels. "As our nation's defense becomes increasingly more dependent on the space domain, a system like Space Fence will be a critical component in the space surveillance network, tracking tens of thousands of objects daily," said David Gulla, vice president, National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated Defense...
  • Technology Opens Military Space

    11/01/2010 9:28:54 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 11/1/2010 | Bill Sweetman
    As space becomes more important to military operations, the flimsiness of the laws and conventions that govern space operations is more apparent. It’s not so much that the structure has become weaker as that technological and industrial developments have exposed its failings. Recent years have seen a satellite shoot-down demonstration by China in January 2007, followed a year later by the U.S. shoot-down of the malfunctioning USA 193 spacecraft. There have also been reported incidents of deliberate non-kinetic interference with U.S. spacecraft. Analyst Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation, speaking at a symposium on deterrence in Omaha, Neb., noted that...
  • US Warns PRC of Anti-Sat Debris

    10/29/2010 11:02:53 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 12 replies
    DoD Buzz ^ | 10/28/2010 | Colin Clark
    Earlier this month, the State Department learned that debris from the Chinese weather satellite destroyed in their 2007 anti-satellite test would be coming uncomfortably close to another — functioning — Chinese satellite. So, like any good neighbor, State told China about the possibility of a collision. In technical terms, the US shared conjunction analysis with our PRC brethren. But, as often happens with the fabulously opaque Chinese government, the US isn’t sure if China heard us or believed us. At a conference on space debris last week in Germany, a U.S. military officer spoke with someone presumed to be a...
  • The Elusive X-37

    10/16/2010 9:44:20 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | 10/14/2010 | The Strategy Page
    After six months in orbit, the U.S. Air Force X-37B UOV (unmanned orbital vehicle) is proving elusive to amateur astronomers. This international collection of sky watchers have proved remarkably adept at spotting orbital objects in the past, including classified ones like the X-37B. One notable incident occurred two years ago, when a U.S. spy satellite fell out of orbit (apparently because of a failure in its maneuvering system). The amateur astronomers were able to track it. If this had not been an American reconnaissance satellite, there would have been no media attention to this, because 4-5 satellites a month fall...
  • Small, Quick And Combat Ready

    06/20/2010 9:56:05 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    Strategy Page ^ | 6/20/2010 | Strategy Page
    The U.S. Air Force is moving rapidly in developing and testing smaller reconnaissance and communications satellites. These birds weigh a ton or less (down to 100 kg/220 pounds). The smallest ones have limited usefulness and endurance. But when you get to half a ton or more, you have a very useful bird. It is believed these smaller satellites will be needed to replace wartime losses. Usually, the U.S. has four KH-11s and four Lacrosse radar satellites in orbit, plus several smaller, and more secret birds. Often, these satellites last longer than their design life of eight years (some have gone...