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back to article Second US 'secret space warplane' to launch tomorrow

The US Air Force is set to launch its second X-37B miniature unmanned spaceplane - the type famously dubbed a "secret space warplane" by the Iranian government - on Friday. The first X-37B following landing at Vandenberg AFB after the inaugural OTV-1 mission. Credit: USAF What's in the payload bay, eh? The USAF Rapid …

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Whoa...

"..such a mission might be used to meddle with (or even snatch and retrieve to Earth, in the case of the Shuttle) someone else's space hardware.."

In one orbit? Do ye think I came up the Clyde in a banana boat?

"the objectives of the OTV-2 mission which will follow tomorrow's launch will probably not become known for a long time..."

Or until the next Wikileaker strikes...

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Bringing it all back home

Requires a reentry vehicle. In these enLightning times it could be collecting sundry sprites and elves. Which would make a change from pixie dust. But I think not.

May all their subroutines be reentrant too.

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Alien

design classic?

My first thought on seeing the picture was 'did H.R. Giger design the nose cone' - looks like the chestburster from Alien to me...

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E 2

Is it just me?

Or are these USA space planes looking more and more like the monster from the Alien movie with every new version?

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Black Helicopters

The Mission

"Disappointingly perhaps, the objectives of the OTV-2 mission which will follow tomorrow's launch will probably not become known for a long time."

My money is on a rendition flight to the ISS with Bradley Manning on board. And he thinks his current cell is bad....

PS - can we get a black space shuttle icon?

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Theft

It can nick other people's top secret spy satellites :p.

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Coat

Prior art...

Blofeld did it first!

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Big Brother

Title.

"In the end the Shuttle never flew from Vandenberg on secretive military ghost missions"

Atleast that's what they want you to think!

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Pint

Chortle

Given that a shuttle launch is possibly the loudest thing you can imagine (a Who concert maybe breaking the record..), it wouldn't have been that secretive - the residents of Santa Barbara would hear it, possibly even LA! :-)

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All lies and jests, Still a man hears what he wants to hear, And disregards the rest

Well, the tin-foil-hatisum was ment in jest, but it is kind of strange to talk knowing that SECRET missions didn't occur.

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Happy

Obvious reason for the wings.

It's the US *air* force.

Which is still run by assorted fighter jocks.

It would *never* have got funding without them.

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FAIL

NASA are Idiots

The really sad story is that the X-37 was going to be the ISS's lifeboat, and somebody would THEN figure out that with some small adaptations you could launch it with crew as well. From a Delta Heavy. Which of could, would not do.

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-105

I found a photograph of this bird on the Wikipedia, so it would appear that the MiG-105 was more than just a threat--it was an expensive counter move to offset the "threat" of the Dynasoar.

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x-37, son of shuttle

looks like one of the Shuttle's pups. it'll be so sweet when its eyes open, coochie, coochie, coo...

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