As with everything in politics, the smallest things were made to seem astronomically terrible. This was the case with the ending of America‘s Manned Space Shuttle program, that flew for more than 30 years. Many thought that it was the the end of America’s dominance in space. But what many Americans didnt realize, was that the United States Air Force had already had developed, tested and launched it’s replacement.
Using all the data from 30 years of manned Space Shuttle flight, Drone advancements, and modern technological advances, America’s newest Space Shuttle, The Super Secret X-37B has been in space circling the Earth for over 10 months. that may not seem like a very long time, but consider that the longest Space Shuttle Mission was that of the Columbia in 1996, which lasted only 17 Days 15 Hours 53 Minutes 18 Seconds.
Built by Boeing’s Phantom Works, the X-37B spacecraft is approximately 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 meters) wide. It has a payload bay about the size of a Ford F-250 pickup truck. The X-37B resembles a miniature version of NASA’s space shuttle, in fact, two X-37Bs could fit inside the 60-foot (18-meter) cargo bay of a space shuttle comfortably. But make no mistake about it, America’s Newest Super Secret Shuttle has a military and not civilian background and intent.
The X-37B’s current mission and payload is classified, but it has been widely speculated that it’s current voyage is actually a spy mission.
Brid-Aine Parnell of The Register UK writes……..
The US Air Force’s second mysterious mini-space shuttle, the X-37B, could be spying on China‘s space laboratory and the first piece of its space station, Tiangong-1.
Amateur space trackers told the British Interplanetary Society publication Spaceflight that the black-funded spaceplane seemed to be orbiting the Earth in tandem with Tiangong_1, or the Heavenly Palace, leading the magazine to speculate that its unknown mission is to spy on it.
“Space-to-space surveillance is a whole new ball game made possible by a finessed group of sensors and sensor suites, which we think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China’s nascent space station,” Spaceflight
editor Dr David Baker told
- The SPACE.com infographic depicts the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an unmanned space test vehicle for the USAF. CREDIT: Karl Tate, SPACE.com
Whatever the purpose of America’s Newest Shuttle, we can be assured that The United State will remain a force to be reckoned with in technology and space for many years to come. The X-37B merely represents the programs and vehicles that we actually know about, just think of what we don’t .