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X-37B - US space war 'Space Fighter-bomber' satellite killer

 
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: X-37B - US space war 'Space Fighter-bomber' satellite killer Reply with quote

Some of us will have heard about the six times speed of sound US plane; but this one is something else! 25 times the speed of sound, and skipping in and out of space, impossible at present to counter!:



http://www.countercurrents.org/fang280510.htm

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

America and China set up emergency space hotline to prevent 'Star Wars' nightmare scenario
11:41, 23 NOV 2015 UPDATED 12:21, 23 NOV 2015 BY JASPER HAMILL
Rival superpowers launch unprecedented cooperative venture as the risk of terrifying space war grows ever greater

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/america-china- set-up-emergency-6883445

Star Wars: Could the next war be fought in space?
America has set up a hotline with China to make sure an accidental satellite collision doesn't spark a full blown space war.

China is known to have developed weapons capable of destroying spacecraft as they orbit around the planet.

If an American satellite was suddenly wiped out, officials could easily mistake the mishap for an act of war.

The new hotline will allow the rival superpowers to get in touch following a space accident, to avoid the situation escalating.

Frank Rose, US assistant secretary of state, told the Financial Times that it was often difficult to cut quickly through Chinese bureaucracy and reach the right person.

"China is developing a full spectrum of anti-satellite capabilities,” he added.

"We’ve made it clear we don't believe it’s in anyone’s interest to engage in a space arms race."

Any satellite orbiting earth faces a massive risk of destruction, due to the huge amount of orbiting debris.


America is known to have communications satellites in space, but it is rumoured to be planning something much scarier.

X-37B spacecraft: What is this strange craft doing up there in space?

The US recently sent its top-secret X-37B 'space plane' on another mystery mission which is feared to be part of an ominous Star Wars weapons programme.

So far, the space plane has spent a massive 1,367 days - almost four years - in space during three classified missions.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The X-37b's big brother revealed: Boeing bags $6.6m contract to design reusable XS-1 robot spaceplane that will launch secret spy satellites and space weapons
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3186484/The-X-37b-s-big -brother-revealed-Boeing-bags-6-6m-contract-design-reusable-XS-1-robot -spaceplane-launch-secret-spy-satellites-space-weapons.html

By Mark Prigg For Dailymail.com
23:56 05 Aug 2015, updated 04:53 06 Aug 2015
XS-1 spacecraft will be far larger than secretive X-37b test plane
Expected to use engine developed by Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin
Will fly like a normal plane, releasing second stage to launch satellite
Can then return to Earth and fly again within 24 hours
Boeing has been awarded a $6.6m contract to design a cheap, reusable mini shuttle that can launch military satellites.

The small, planelike craft is known as the XS-1 program—short for 'eXperimental Spaceplane 1', and could blast off in 2019 on its first test mission.

It is hoped the craft could quickly launch small satellites that could defend against the growing threat of Russian and Chinese space weapons.

Scroll down for video

The small, planelike craft is known as the XS-1. It is hoped the craft could quickly launch small satellites that could defend against the growing threat of Russian and Chinese space weapons. +16
The small, planelike craft is known as the XS-1. It is hoped the craft could quickly launch small satellites that could defend against the growing threat of Russian and Chinese space weapons.
HOW IT WORKS

The reusable first stage launch vehicle will be capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage to launch small satellite payloads of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,361 kg to 2,268 kg) into low-Earth orbit.

The booster would then return to Earth, where it could be quickly prepared for the next flight using methods similar to an airline jet.

XS-1 could 'create a new paradigm for more routine, responsive and affordable space operations,' according to DARPA, the military research arm heading the project.

The XS-1 is an airplane-like vehicle that can fly to the edge of Earth's atmosphere and quickly boost small satellites into orbit, and then land, refuel, load up another satellite, and take off again within 24 hours.

'In an era of declining budgets and adversaries' evolving capabilities, quick, affordable, and routine access to space is increasingly critical for both national and economic security,' DARPA said in a press release.

However, it has remained tight lipped about the latest contract.

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'The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California, has been awarded a $6,587,447 modification (P00004) to previously awarded HR0011-14-9-0005 (Other Transaction), for the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program,' the announcement of the deal says.

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'The additional tasks, identified as Phase IB, will continue the development of the XS-1 demonstration concept, substantiating identified core component technologies, mitigating risk, developing a Technology Maturation Plan (TMP), and performing several demonstration tasks.

'The addition of the XS-1 Phase IB tasks brings the total cumulative face value of the agreement from $10,000,000 to $16,587,447.'

Boeing must complete its XS-1 design and test its basic technologies before August 2016.

DARPA wants an XS-1 prototype to perform a realistic trial mission no later than 2019.

After that, the Pentagon could decide to build XS-1s for regular use.

The reusable first stage launch vehicle will be capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage +16
The reusable first stage launch vehicle will be capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage
Following the launch, the craft, which flies itself, simply returns to Earth. +16
Following the launch, the craft, which flies itself, simply returns to Earth.
'Developing a vehicle that launches small payloads more affordably is a priority for future U.S. Defense Department operations,' said Steve Johnston, director of Boeing's Phantom Works Advanced Space Exploration division when the oritinal funding was revealed.

'Boeing brings a combination of proven experience in developing launch systems and reusable space vehicles, along with unparalleled expertise in the development and fielding of highly operable and cost-effective transportation systems.'

The craft can then release its second stage
The craft can then release its second stage
The upper stage can launch small satellite payloads of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,361 kg to 2,268 kg) into low-Earth orbit. +16
The upper stage can launch small satellite payloads of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,361 kg to 2,268 kg) into low-Earth orbit.
The booster would then return to Earth, where it could be quickly prepared for the next flight using methods similar to an airline jet. +16
The booster would then return to Earth, where it could be quickly prepared for the next flight using methods similar to an airline jet.
NEXT STEPS

Boeing must complete its XS-1 design and test its basic technologies before August 2016.

DARPA wants an XS-1 prototype to perform a realistic trial mission no later than 2019.

After that, the Pentagon could decide to build XS-1s for regular use.

The firm was initially given a $4 million preliminary design contract, to work on a reusable first stage launch vehicle capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage to launch small satellite payloads of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,361 kg to 2,268 kg) into low-Earth orbit.

'Our design would allow the autonomous booster to carry the second stage and payload to high altitude and deploy them into space.

'The booster would then return to Earth, where it could be quickly prepared for the next flight by applying operation and maintenance principles similar to modern aircraft.' said Will Hampton, Boeing XS-1 program manager.

The mystery test vehicle — essentially a technology test bed — is designed to orbit the Earth and then land like one of Nasa's old shuttles +16
The mystery test vehicle — essentially a technology test bed — is designed to orbit the Earth and then land like one of Nasa's old shuttles
'Drawing on our other innovative technologies, Boeing intends to provide a concept that uses efficient, streamlined ground infrastructure and improves the turnaround time to relaunch this spacecraft for subsequent missions.'

DARPA wants the new spaceplane to be able to boost a two-ton satellite into space every day for 10 days straight for less than $5 million per flight.

The craft is set to be larger than the X-37B robotic spaceplanes that Boeing built for the Air Force.

Masten Space Systems and Northrop Grumman had also drawn up XS-1 blueprints. DARPA awarded the three firms $4 million apiece to do that preliminary design work.

Boeing also enlisted Washington State-based rocket start-up Blue Origin to help with the XS-1's motor, ans is believed to be planning to use Blue Origin's BE-4 to power the XS-1.

Capable of producing more than half a million pounds of thrust, the BE-4 is amonster of an engine.

Earlier this year the US Air Force's top secret X-37B space plane was been caught on camera by a team of amateur astronomers.

The unmanned plane launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V on May 20 on its fourth mission, but most of the details about its flight remain classified.

The latest image, however, provides new insights into the spacecraft's activities and has fuelled speculation that X-37B may be a spy plane.

The US Air Force's top secret X-37B space plane has been caught on camera by a team of amateur astronomers. South African astronomer Greg Roberts captured this of the space plane in two-second–long exposures just a few weeks after launch +16
The US Air Force's top secret X-37B space plane has been caught on camera by a team of amateur astronomers. South African astronomer Greg Roberts captured this of the space plane in two-second–long exposures just a few weeks after launch
X-37B'S MYSTERY MISSIONS

The U.S. Air Force's unmanned X-37B space plane has flown four secret missions to date.

Each time it has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit.

The spacecraft looks similar to Nasa's space shuttle but is much smaller. The X-37B is about 29ft (8.8m) long and 9.5ft (2.9 m) tall.

It has a wingspan of just less than 15ft (4.6 m). At launch, it weighs 11,000lbs (4,990kg).

The craft is taken into orbit on a rocket but lands like the space shuttle by gliding down to Earth.

While it's main mission payload is a mystery, Nasa has revealed it has a materials experiment aboard.

The Planetary Society is tagging along with a solar-sail demo. Ten CubeSat nanosatellites are also taking a piggyback ride into orbit.

'It's in a lower orbit than normal … had us confused for a while, as I thought it would be the standard operating orbit,' tracker Greg Roberts told Space.com.

'The inclination is also lower than before.'

Roberts captured an image of the space plane in two-second–long exposures just a few weeks after launch.

Its inclination of 38 degrees is the lowest of the X-37B program, with the first mission flying at an inclination of 40 degrees.

It also features the lowest initial altitude of the four X-37B launches at 198 miles (318km). The previous low was OTV-2, at 205 miles.

The low-altitude flight profile may be a indication of test for a new propulsion technology.

'One thing that OTV-4 has in common with each of its predecessors is that its ground track nearly repeats after every 31 revolutions, which takes two days,' Toronto-based Ted Molczan told Space.com.

He added that this could be in support of a spy mission, to permit targets to be revisited frequently.

Other theories have for the spaceplane have ranged from it being a space bomber, to a clandestine probe on a mission to 'take out' spy satellites.

The mystery test vehicle — essentially a technology test bed — is designed to orbit the Earth and then land like one of Nasa's old shuttles.

While it's main mission payload is a mystery, Nasa last month revealed it has a materials experiment aboard, while the Planetary Society is tagging along with a solar-sail demo.

An infrared view of the X-37B unmanned spacecraft landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The purpose of the U.S. military's space plane is classified
An infrared view of the X-37B unmanned spacecraft landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The purpose of the U.S. military's space plane is classified
TOP FOUR CONSPIRACY THEORIES

The space plane is a spy plane: The leading theory appears to be that the unmanned space plane is a shuttle-shaped surveillance vehicle.

It could be a space bomber: This is the least likely theory, according tot Seven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. He claims the US doesn't need this capability.

It is on a mission is to 'take out' satellites: This activity would be easily traceable, making it unlikely to stay a secret.

The X-37B deploys spy satellites: Instead of destroying them, the theory suggests that the space plane's orbit matches up to where deployed satellites would work best for spying on other countries.

Called LightSail, it uses a propulsion system that uses the pressure of photons from the sun, a technique known as solar sailing.

Nine other CubeSat nanosatellites are also taking a piggyback ride into orbit.

The space plane - one of two of the same design - is operated robotically, without anyone on board, and is reusable.

It is 29ft long — about one-fourth the size of a Nasa shuttle. The longest X-37B flight lasted about 675 days; touchdown was last October.

There's no official word on exactly how long this one will stay up, although report suggest it will return to Earth in mid-to-late 2016.

In an unprecedented disclosure, last month month the Department of Defense did reveal some details about the X-37B's main mission.

'[We] are investigating an experimental propulsion system on the X-37B on Mission 4,' Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman, told Space.com.

'The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office will also host a number of advance materials onboard the X-37B for Nasa to study the durability of various materials in the space environment,' Hoyler added.

He added the vehicle's mission 'cannot be specified' but that it will enhance 'the development of the concept of operations for reusable space vehicles'.

Like a shuttle, X-37B is blasted into orbit by a rocket. However, it lands using a runway like a normal aircraft. The X-37B is too small to carry people onboard, but does have a cargo bay similar to that of a pickup truck, which is just large enough to carry a small satellite +16
Like a shuttle, X-37B is blasted into orbit by a rocket. However, it lands using a runway like a normal aircraft. The X-37B is too small to carry people onboard, but does have a cargo bay similar to that of a pickup truck, which is just large enough to carry a small satellite
Spaceflightnow.com revealed more details of the flight, which is described as a 'hall thruster electric propulsion test.'

It is intended to improve performance of the units onboard Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft, officials claim.

AEHF satellites' Hall thrusters are 4.5-kilowatt units that use electricity and xenon to produce thrust for moving satellites in space.

The benefit of using electric propulsion is that its xenon fuel weighs much less than traditional hydrazine.

This technology could help in the development of technologies to control satellites with better accuracy.

However, experts claim that refining an advanced manoeuvring thruster is probably just a small part of the vehicle's true mission set.

One leading secrecy expert previously told DailyMail.com that the drone is 'very likely' be used to test technologies that will increase spying capabilities of the US.

'The US government has a bottomless appetite for sensitive information,' said Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists.

'As powerful as our intelligence satellites may be, they also have their limitations - most notably the limitations imposed by their orbital parameters.

'It's conceivable that a spy plane would introduce new versatility into overhead reconnaissance.'

The X-37B space drone, otherwise known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, is blasted into orbit by a rocket. However, it lands using a runway like a normal aircraft.

The X-program has bounced between several federal agencies, Nasa among them, since 1999. The plane has been in space for a total of 674 days, far more than its two previous flights which lasted 225 and 469 days +16
The X-program has bounced between several federal agencies, Nasa among them, since 1999. The plane has been in space for a total of 674 days, far more than its two previous flights which lasted 225 and 469 days

The X-37B is too small to carry people onboard, but does have a cargo bay similar to that of a pickup truck, which is just large enough to carry a small satellite.

The X-program has bounced between several federal agencies, Nasa among them, since 1999.

The plane has been in space for a total of 674 days, far more than its two previous flights which lasted 225 and 469 days.

The program's first mission launched in April 2010 and landed in December that year.

The second space plane took off on March 2011 and came back to Earth in June 2012.

According to X-37B manufacturer Boeing, the space plane operates in low-earth orbit, between 110 (177km) and 500 miles (800km) above earth.

By comparison, the International Space Station orbits at about 220 miles (350km).

One secrecy expert told DailyMail.com that the drone (artist's impression pictured) is 'likely' to be a spy plane +16
One secrecy expert told DailyMail.com that the drone (artist's impression pictured) is 'likely' to be a spy plane
This December 3, 2010, image by the Vandenberg Air Force Base shows technicians examining the X-37B unmanned spaceplane shortly after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California +16
This December 3, 2010, image by the Vandenberg Air Force Base shows technicians examining the X-37B unmanned spaceplane shortly after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
United Launch Alliance's 206ft Atlas V rocket launched the space plane at 11:05 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The X-37B space plane, a experimental program run by the Air Force, is capable of remaining in space for almost two years +16
United Launch Alliance's 206ft Atlas V rocket launched the space plane at 11:05 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The X-37B space plane, a experimental program run by the Air Force, is capable of remaining in space for almost two years

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its the little buggers we need to find out about. solar powered nanodrones capable of delivering lethal or otherwise chemicals or plagues.

Of course its all sci fi imagination

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z78mgfKprdg[/youtube]

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

War In Space - The Next Battlefield - CNN

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ZBLFhb_lg
Published on 29 Nov 2016
Jim Sciutto's Special Report
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/28/politics/space-war-us-military-prepa rations/

THE OPPOSITE POINT OF VIEW!
Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRA5bEO0cUg

Quote:
Thanks to Bruce Gagnon for this
http://www.space4peace.org/
http://space4peace.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/space-command-propaganda-pie ce.html
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016
Space Command Propaganda Piece


CNN last night aired a major propaganda piece promoting the US military industrial complex goal of frightening the American people so they will hand over even more $$$$ to pay for this massive space war machine.

As the US routinely does the Pentagon plays 'poor me' claiming that Russia and China are out to get us. They make it sound like the US is under threat and thus we need to pump even more money into our already massively expensive military space program.

The fact is that the US is way out in front of the space warfare arms race. Russia and China have for more than 20 years been annually going to the United Nations pleading with the US to join them in serious negotiations for a new treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Space (PAROS). Each year the US blocks treaty negotiations claiming there is 'no problem' and thus no need to create a treaty to prevent war in space.

The US-based aerospace industry (led by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon) has long known that if the US refused to negotiate the treaty, Russia and China would be forced to respond to the US Space Command's Vision for 2020 that states the Pentagon will 'control and dominate' space and will 'deny' other nations 'access to space'. Thus a new arms race is guaranteed and the profits to be made from such a new round in military conflict would bear unimaginable profits for the aerospace industry.

The history of America is replete with exaggerations of 'enemy' power while the poor old USA is dragging along behind. This strategy was used to over sell the American Indian 'threat' during the late 1800's, over hype the Russian missile capability during the Cold War, and claim that Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction' before the US 'shock and awe' attack in 2003.

At the end of the CNN propaganda piece Space Command officials make the outrageous claim that the US has no offensive assets in space while 'our adversaries' have weaponized space.

There should be no doubt that the corporate dominated media today is essentially nothing more than the mouth piece for the US military empire. The fact that this puff piece on a major news network interviewed not a single critic of the US's claim to be the 'Master of Space' speaks volumes.

If you are interested in seeing the other side of this issue just click here

Bruce


US military prepares for the next frontier: Space war
Jim Sciutto-Profile-Image
By Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent
Updated 1359 GMT (2159 HKT) November 29, 2016
Meet the US military's sentry for space

America's chief adversaries in space are familiar ones: Russia and China
The US has created a massive new Space Command, with some 38,000 employees
Washington (CNN)Since man first explored space, it has been a largely peaceful environment. But now US adversaries are deploying weapons beyond Earth's atmosphere, leading the US military to prepare for the frightening prospect of war in space.

"As humans go out there, there has always been conflict. Conflict in the Wild West as we move in the West ... conflict twice in Europe for its horrible world wars," Gen. John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told CNN. "So, every time humans actually physically move into that, there's conflict, and in that case, we'll have to be prepared for that."
Today, the US depends on space more than any other nation.
In a nightmare scenario, as adversaries launch a massive cyber attack on key infrastructure and disable and destroy our satellites in space, televisions would go blank, mobile networks silent, and the Internet would slow and then stop.
What a space war might look like on the ground

What a space war might look like on the ground 01:39
Dependent on time stamps from GPS satellites, everything from stock markets to bank transactions to traffic lights and railroad switches would freeze. Airline pilots would lose contact with the ground, unsure of their position and without weather data to steer around storms.
World leaders couldn't communicate across continents. In the US military, pilots would lose contact with armed drones over the Middle East. Smart bombs would become dumb. Missiles would sit immobile in their silos. The US could lose early warning of nuclear attacks for parts of the Earth.
"There's incentive to take that away from us," said Peter Singer, who advises the Defense Department on space threats and authored "Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War," which runs through a scenario of space war. "And that means if there was conflict on Planet Earth, it would almost inherently start with some kind of conflict in space."
What is a CubeSat?

What is a CubeSat? 01:19
America's chief adversaries in space are familiar ones: Russia and China are extending above the atmosphere the competition and conflict already boiling down here on Earth -- from Syria to Ukraine to the South China Sea to cyberspace.
China and Russia are taking aim at America in space with a dizzying array of weapons seemingly borrowed from science fiction. Russia has deployed what could be multiple kamikaze satellites such as "Kosmos 2499" -- designed to sidle up to American satellites and then, if ordered, disable or destroy them. China has launched the "Shiyan" -- equipped with a grappling arm that could snatch US satellites right out of orbit.
"We would absolutely be shocked if the US military were not on a war footing now based on what we see," said Paul Graziani, CEO of the civilian satellite tracker AGI.
These are not experimental weapons of the future, but weapons of today, already operating from Near Earth Orbit, just 100 miles up and home of the International Space Station, to Medium Earth Orbit at 12,500 miles, where the GPS satellites fly, all the way up to 22,000 miles in Geostationary Orbit, home of the nation's most sensitive military communications and nuclear early-warning satellites.
Hyten warned that adversaries will soon be able to threaten US satellites in every orbital regime.
"We have very good surveillance and intelligence capabilities, so we can see the threats that are being built," said Hyten. "So we're developing capabilities to defend ourselves. It's really that simple."
1970s spy satellite 'better than Google Earth'
Hexagon spy satellite was 'better than Google Earth'
The US Air Force Space Command was created in 1982 when Earth's orbit was less contested, and today has some 38,000 employees, an annual budget of nearly $8.9 billion, and 134 locations around the globe. The broader Pentagon space budget is $22 billion.
Among the units are the 50th Space Wing, a team of more than 8,000 people charged with monitoring US and foreign military satellites. For now, these space warriors are little more than spectators, watching and observing this new space battlefield with no ability to fire back.
In 2015, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work expressed his grave concern that the military was not "ready to do space operations in a conflict that extends into space."
He was proven right when, months later, US space forces were overwhelmed in a mock attack on US military satellites.
So many took notice when, in April this year, Work vowed that the US would "strike back" if attacked in space -- strike back, he added, and "knock them out."
"From the very beginning, if someone starts going after our space constellation, we're going to go after the capabilities that would prevent them from doing that," Work told CNN. "Let me just say that -- having the capability to shoot the torpedo would be a good thing to have in our quiver."
Work suggested a space equivalent of the depth charges US Navy warships dropped into the sea during World War II, setting off enormous explosions to fight off attack submarines.
"These satellites were built 15 years ago and launched during an era when space was a benign environment. There was no threat," said Lt. Gen. David Buck, Commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space. "Can you imagine building a refueler aircraft, or a jet for that matter, with no inherent defensive capabilities? So our satellites are at risk, and our ground infrastructure is at risk. And we're working hard to make sure that we can protect and defend them."
US Navy launches new warship

US Navy launches new warship 01:18
So far, such weapons remain in the conceptual category. But the US is quietly developing advanced capabilities that could, some day, have defensive or offensive missions in space.
These include the US Navy's Laser Weapons System, or LAWs, the US military's first operational laser weapon now deployed in the Persian Gulf on board the USS Ponce. The X-37b, a pilotless space drone resembling the space shuttle without windows or a cockpit, has already flown multiple missions to space and has space watchers and US adversaries wondering if it could be used as a weapon.
Still, as Russia and China make rapid advances, some of the most senior military commanders are sounding the alarm that this is a war -- the next world war and the first to extend beyond the confines of Earth -- that America could lose.
"We'd be silly to say it's not a possibility," said Singer. "What any defense (planner) will tell you is, don't look for the ideal outcome, plan for the worst day so that you can survive."
Winning a space war means rethinking how the US wages war, and that rethinking is one our current military leaders and politicians are only just beginning to undertake.
So is the US moving quickly enough to respond to the new threats in space?
"I would say the answer was no," said Gen. William Shelton, former head of Space Command. "Could we provide active defense of our own satellites? The answer's no."
The stakes couldn't be higher. How the US responds to this new threat could determine who wins the defining conflict of the 21st century.
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected by the MILINCOM to more accurately reflect the size, age and budget of the Pentagon's space efforts.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha! US Air Force's Secretive X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Satellite Tracker
By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | August 21, 2018 03:20pm ET
https://www.space.com/41565-x-37b-space-plane-skywatcher-photos-otv5.h tml

Gotcha! US Air Force's Secretive X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Satellite Tracker
Marco Langbroek captured this long-exposure photo of the Air Force's X-37B space plane streaking through the sky above Leiden, the Netherlands, on Aug. 20, 2018.
Credit: Marco Langbroek
The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane may be secretive, but it's not invisible.

Netherlands-based satellite tracker Marco Langbroek snapped long-exposure photos of the robotic mini-shuttle zooming over the city of Leiden yesterday (Aug. 20), capturing the spacecraft's rapid trek across the night sky as a thin streak of light.

The Air Force discloses little about X-37B missions, keeping details about the plane's orbit and most of its payloads close to the vest. But Langbroek said he's confident that the light trail he photographed came from the space plane, which is also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV). [The X-37B Space Plane: 6 Surprising Facts]

Another photo by Langbroek of the X-37B's night-sky trek on Aug. 20, 2018. Also visible in this image, just below and perpendicular to the X-37B’s track, is the trail made by the French commercial imaging satellite SPOT 6.
Another photo by Langbroek of the X-37B's night-sky trek on Aug. 20, 2018. Also visible in this image, just below and perpendicular to the X-37B’s track, is the trail made by the French commercial imaging satellite SPOT 6.
Credit: Marco Langbroek
"The object in question is not in the public catalogue of satellite orbits maintained by JSpOC (the U.S. military tracking network), which shows for an object this bright that it must be a 'classified' object," Langbroek told Space.com via email. "We nevertheless know where 'classified' objects like this are, because they are routinely tracked by a small network of amateur trackers, in which I takepart."

The object he photographed last night is in a very low orbit, Langbroek added: between 193 miles and 202 miles (310 to 325 kilometers). (For comparison, the International Space Station's average altitude is about 250 miles, or 400 km.) And the object actively maneuvers from time to time, so it can't be some piece of space junk about to re-enter Earth's atmosphere.

In this photo, also taken by Langbroek on Aug. 20, SPOT 6’s faint track is above and to the left of the bright X-37B trail.
In this photo, also taken by Langbroek on Aug. 20, SPOT 6’s faint track is above and to the left of the bright X-37B trail.
Credit: Marco Langbroek
"Basically, only one type of object fits this: X-37B," Langbroek said. "Previous X-37B missions we tracked also orbited at such very low altitudes. The object also has a similar brightness to previous OTV missions."

And to really seal the deal, when you project this object's orbital plane backward in time, it passes right over Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at around 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) on Sept. 7, 2017 — right when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lofted the X-37B on its current mission, called OTV-5.

The X-37B looks like a miniature version of NASA's now-retired space shuttle orbiter. The Air Force is known to possess two OTVs, both of which were built by Boeing. Each vehicle is 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.6 feet (2.9 m) tall, with a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed.

As its name suggests, OTV-5 is the fifth X-37B mission. To date, each OTV flight has spent more time in orbit than the last. OTV-1 launched in April 2010 and spent 224 days in space; OTV-2 began in March 2011 and logged 468 days in space; OTV-3 zipped around Earth for nearly 675 days after its December 2012 liftoff, and OTV-4 launched in May 2015 and landed 718 days later, in May 2017.



X-37B OTV 5 on 20 AUG 2018 from Marco Langbroek on Vimeo. (The short movie above was captured using a WATEC 902H CCTV camera equipped with an old Canon FD 1.8/50 mm lens, Langbroek said.)

Air Force officials have said that the X-37B is testing reusable-spaceflight technology and gear for future spacecraft on these missions. Experts have said this explanation makes sense, dismissing claims that the OTV may be a space weapon of some sort.

Oh, and you can spot the X-37B overhead as well, if you know where to look, Langbroek said. The spacecraft is usually quite bright — often bright enough to be naked-eye visible from the middle of Leiden, he added. (For tips on where to look, go to satellite-tracking sites such as Heavens Above or N2YO.)

"During favorable passes, the spacecraft reaches magnitude +1, which is brighter than, for example, the stars of the Big Dipper and similar to the brightness of Saturn or Mars in the sky," Langbroek said. "It is easily visible to the naked eye then, even from the urban town center I observe from."

The Aug. 20 photos were taken during an overhead pass during which the X-37B wasn’t all that bright. This image, taken by Langbroek on June 25, 2018, shows the space plane during a more favorable pass.
The Aug. 20 photos were taken during an overhead pass during which the X-37B wasn’t all that bright. This image, taken by Langbroek on June 25, 2018, shows the space plane during a more favorable pass.
Credit: Marco Langbroek
Last night's pass wasn't even a particularly great one, he added. And he still used "very simple equipment: a normal DSLR (a Canon EOS 60D) with a Canon EF F2.0/35mm wide-angle lens, on a normal camera tripod. The camera was set on ISO 800, the lens wide open at F2.0, and I used an exposure time of 5 seconds."

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www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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