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 …
"..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...
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.
My first thought on seeing the picture was 'did H.R. Giger design the nose cone' - looks like the chestburster from Alien to me...
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?
"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?
It can nick other people's top secret spy satellites :p.
Blofeld did it first!
"In the end the Shuttle never flew from Vandenberg on secretive military ghost missions"
Atleast that's what they want you to think!
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! :-)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...