Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for the X-37B Space Plane

Image: The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, in June 2009.
Credit: U.S. Air Force
 
I've never heard of this plane, but according to a post from Live Science ( X-37B Space Plane Returns: 5 Theories About Its Secret Mission by contributor Elizabeth Howell, Oct. 27, 2014), it spent almost 2 years in orbit on a secret mission. A plane in space for 675 days? How wild is that?

And what is it doing up there? Spying on the Middle East? Preparing to bomb something? Maybe, but the problem with these ideas is that adjusting the position of a vehicle in orbit would take a lot of fuel. Other theories like interfering with satellites or spying on the Chinese space station are also problematic, but the space plane could be releasing a satellite of its own.

If you want to see a 3 minute video on this unmanned robotic plane, here's one from Space.com.




Have you heard of this plane? What do you think it's doing up there?

19 comments:

  1. It would have to be unmanned to stay up that long.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a long time to be up there! I too, wonder what its mission was.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never heard of it. Wonder if it was intercepting satellite communications.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Xanthophobia, Xenoepist, Xyzlacatosis

    ReplyDelete
  4. secret mission hmmmm. my mind is racing w/ ideas lol.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

    #AtoZChallenge

    ReplyDelete
  5. I haven't heard of it. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I bet there are a lot of things going on in the world, politically and militarily, that the average person has no clue about.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm going with testing the technology itself and conducting experiments. There has long been a huge list of experiments hoping to get a little space time.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know what it's doing there but I'll bet it's up to no good! :)

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

    ReplyDelete
  8. Secret mission? Is that for real? If so, they it's probably something totally innocuous. Like, testing long time space flight. Like a Mars mission, perhaps. (I seem to recall, depending upon windows, it should take about 18 months to get from Earth to Mars.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you read the Martian by Andy Weir? Now that was a book that really sank its teeth into Mars. I wouldn't be surprised if that book is to thank for this expedition.

      Delete
  9. Way to keep people guessing, eh? I don't think the mission would be secret if it was doing something beneficial.

    ReplyDelete
  10. On a secret Mission...there's so much about Nasa I don't know. And unmanned? Just makes you think.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fascinating. Love that it's unmanned and reusable, and (I assume) saves the space program money. Lots of potential there.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very strange! If it's so secret, how do we even know about it? But why has it not been announced like all the space programs that make the U.S. so proud?

    Y Is For Dr Yes And Other Oriental Get Smart Characters

    ReplyDelete
  13. There are a lot of things our government is doing that I wonder about... And I see your Ursa Major book advertised in your sidebar!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I really need to get my act together and get that back on Amazon.

      Delete
  14. It has to be unpiloted if it's up there so long!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Never heard of this one at all! You've certainly picked some great topics!

    ReplyDelete

I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)

Note: During the A to Z challenge, I may not be able to return all comments in a timely fashion, but I will do my best.