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The X-37B Mystery Spacecraft Just Had Its Nine Month Mission Extended Indefinitely
TBI ^ | 12-3-2011 | Robert Johnson

Posted on 12/03/2011 7:16:53 AM PST by blam

The X-37B Mystery Spacecraft Just Had Its Nine Month Mission Extended Indefinitely

Robert Johnson
Dec. 3, 2011, 9:15 AM

Image: US Air Force

The pilotless X-37B Orbital Vehicle has been silently circling the planet for the past nine months and the Air Force has announced it will continue its classified mission indefinitely.

W.J. Hennigan of the Los Angeles Times reports the X-37B resembles a smaller version of the space shuttle and is said to test various new technologies in space.

Via CSM:

"We initially planned for a nine-month mission, which we are roughly at now, but we will continue to extend the mission as circumstances allow," Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, the spacecraft's systems program director, said in a statement. "Keeping the X-37 in orbit will provide us with additional experimentation opportunities and allow us to extract the maximum value out of the mission."

The X-37B was built in tight secrecy by Boeing Co.'s Space and Intelligence Systems unit in Huntington Beach, Calif. Engineering work was done at the company's facilities in Huntington Beach and nearby Seal Beach. Other components were fabricated at its satellite-making plant inEl Segundo, Calif.

The classified nature of the X-37B has prompted speculation that the ship is the first step in an orbiting weapons array able to drop bombs or disable satellites of US enemies.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aircraft; airforce; defensetechnology; drone; military; mysterything; pilotlessplane; x37

1 posted on 12/03/2011 7:16:58 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

Tiny Rods from God?

Mysterious explosions in Iran?

It would not be hard to drop a kinetic object onto a spot as small as a 2 foot radius. Just needs a bit of maneuverability and cheap GPS guidance.


2 posted on 12/03/2011 7:23:31 AM PST by Bobalu (even Jesus knew the poor would always be with us)
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To: blam

My first thought at the headline was “What, did they lose it?”


3 posted on 12/03/2011 7:24:34 AM PST by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: blam

Impressive performance so far it seems. Especially for something that looks as though it was assembled from parts found at the ‘Boneyard’ and reinforced with 100 mph duct tape.


4 posted on 12/03/2011 7:26:05 AM PST by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
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To: blam

They don’t know how to get it down?


5 posted on 12/03/2011 7:26:49 AM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: blam

Is it using tiles like the shuttle or is it carbon-carbon on every surface or even better, a newer heat shield technology?


6 posted on 12/03/2011 7:30:44 AM PST by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: KrisKrinkle
They don’t know how to get it down?

That could very well be it, they can bring it down for some reason. Failure in some subsystem perhaps. We'll probably never know.

7 posted on 12/03/2011 7:39:19 AM PST by Paradox (The rich SHOULD be paying more taxes, and they WOULD, if they could make more money.)
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To: blam

Just a fancy looking satellite......


8 posted on 12/03/2011 7:39:59 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Be good, Santa is coming)
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To: blam
Oh good grief!
The damn thing is a suborbital predator drone equipped with a high intensity long distance surgical laser designed to disable or destroy within the top secret and very precise coordinates of NSA GPS the electronic capabilities of the enemies of America.
It is one of Bush's War on Terrorism projects Obama was smart to preserve.
When he collapses the economy and declares martial law the dang things will take out the communications capabilities of any and all resistance movements—sort of like the Commies first taking over the radio stations in the days of the vacuum tube.
21st Century Socialist Man.
9 posted on 12/03/2011 7:48:26 AM PST by Happy Rain ( "Where's the BLUE DRESS? you liberal and RINO scum!")
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To: Renderofveils

more likely things have gone well. Because of the very high cost of just getting something into space, much less sending a technician in to space to change out batteries or troubleshoot problems, space-based systems are built to complete their missions when lots of stuff goes wrong.

When things go right, there’s extra mission capability. This is why a lot of satellites are functional far past their expected lifetimes. Since there are no astronauts involved (by far the most needy and fragile component in any space system), time on orbit isn’t a system constraint. So long as there’s enough propellant left to get home, there’s no reason to end things just because the original schedule that assumed things would go wrong says so.


10 posted on 12/03/2011 7:56:14 AM PST by jz638
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To: KrisKrinkle
They don’t know how to get it down?

My first reaction, as well. Leave it up until folks forget about it?

11 posted on 12/03/2011 7:58:05 AM PST by PAR35
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To: Happy Rain

Not suborbital, it is a LEO (low earth orbit)drone. Likely equipped with kinetic smart weapons and small port firing devices intended to disable satellites.

The kinetic weapons have no launch signature, and appear as meteors when they enter the atmosphere. For some reason they seem to be attracted to rouge atomic facilities in the mid-east and south west Asia.


12 posted on 12/03/2011 8:13:19 AM PST by wrench
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To: Bobalu

You’re saying a high tech version of the lazy dog bomb?


13 posted on 12/03/2011 8:16:01 AM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: wrench
Oh come on wrench,you are not getting into the FR spirit at all!
Everything done by the Defense Department since the day of infamy when the Naked Marxist was inaugurated is suspect and Jane herself became just another guesser.
Put yourself in the military man's shoes when all of of sudden everything he says and does is not the UCMJ but PC.
Assume the worse!
Which means that,since the DOJ has blown off FOI,the DD is tasking our armed forces for the coming “reorganization.”
Of which the X-37B is a part.
14 posted on 12/03/2011 8:33:59 AM PST by Happy Rain ( "Where's the BLUE DRESS? you liberal and RINO scum!")
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To: Bobalu
ROFLOL, a slick rod with no wings, and tail fins, sure, what does the gps system do send out smoke signals. And what keeps it from burning up and what kind of breaking system does the rod have, a paddle. Do you know the speed that little 29 foot long thing is traveling at.
15 posted on 12/03/2011 9:41:00 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: KrisKrinkle

BINGO, something has gone wrong, no command and control.


16 posted on 12/03/2011 9:42:35 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: org.whodat

Even if it is just a decoy. China is eating up a lot of their resources trying to figure it out. Maybe they should launch a couple dozen more.


17 posted on 12/03/2011 9:55:24 AM PST by libertyhoundusnr
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To: libertyhoundusnr

I think it is a test of flight controls, and heat shields, but it could have launched a small satellite, but some here cannot get it in their head that the thing is traveling at 17,000 miles per hour.


18 posted on 12/03/2011 10:21:18 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: blam

It supposedly went up with 9 months worth of experiments and now they want to extend the mission indefinitely? What, they got more experiments sent up to the X-37B? I think this project is for something other than experiments.


19 posted on 12/03/2011 10:42:56 AM PST by Mike Darancette (Either Obama can beat any GOP candidate or no GOP candidate.)
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To: blam
he he. The iranian mission testing is not complete yet.
20 posted on 12/03/2011 10:47:32 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: org.whodat

“I think it is a test of flight controls, and heat shields, but it could have launched a small satellite, but some here cannot get it in their head that the thing is traveling at 17,000 miles per hour.”

It has already completed one multi-month mission, and successfully landed autonomously - a first. It’s a showcase of the advantages of unmanned space vehicles.


21 posted on 12/03/2011 3:19:05 PM PST by PreciousLiberty (Cain '12 - Take Back America!!!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Different craft than the first one.


22 posted on 12/03/2011 3:30:51 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Wrong, maybe the same craft, it may stay up there if they do not get it back soon.


23 posted on 12/03/2011 3:41:21 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: Happy Rain
The damn thing is a suborbital predator drone...

I doubt it's "suborbital" if it's been in orbit for almost nine months. It's "up there" until someone orders it back.

Regards,
GtG

24 posted on 12/03/2011 4:29:14 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: org.whodat

“Wrong, maybe the same craft, it may stay up there if they do not get it back soon.”

Apparently we lucky taxpayers own at least two of them, this one is OTV-2. The one used in the earlier mission is OTV-1.

Vehicle link:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Boeing_X-37

Current mission link:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/USA-226

I seriously doubt there’s a capability issue, I think they just want it to stay up a bit longer. Maybe it’s observing Phobos-Grunt...


25 posted on 12/03/2011 6:03:28 PM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

LOL, I found a conspiracy web sight where people list all the crazy things they think this toy is capable of. LOL, the rod thing is one most crazy. I think they are testing the beam me up stuff. Ha, ha.


26 posted on 12/03/2011 7:07:00 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
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To: org.whodat

The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator comes standard.


27 posted on 12/04/2011 7:07:47 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: blam; KevinDavis

Thanks blam.
"We initially planned for a nine-month mission, which we are roughly at now, but we will continue to extend the mission as circumstances allow," Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, the spacecraft's systems program director, said in a statement.
Nine months is the length of time it takes to get to Mars...


28 posted on 12/05/2011 12:17:11 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
"Nine months is the length of time it takes to get to Mars..."

Be discrete.

We told them in 1947 that we'd return the bodies once we were capable.

29 posted on 12/05/2011 3:08:16 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Heh heh... I’ve tried to be discreet, but there are odd problems. That foil-like stuff? I tried to crumple it into a ball and hide it, but it kept flattening out and pushing the drawer open.


30 posted on 12/05/2011 8:24:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Happy Rain

My, we are a beacon of hope today.

You sound like me.


31 posted on 12/10/2011 6:43:24 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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