Why The Secret, Clandestine, Classified X-37B Is So Interesting

Posted: March 4, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , ,

space dot com screenshot 

The simple reason why the X-37B draws so much attention is that it has a classified mission.

NRO on-orbit ops are classified as well but people have become fairly comfortable in speculating what the mission is based on history, launch site, launch vehicle, orbital parameters, etc..

The X-37B does not have that history.  OK, it launches from the Cape and flies on an Atlas V.  And the X-37 started out as a NASA program, but that sample size and background are pretty modest.

So the real reason the X-37B is classified is driven by one thing: its modest capabilities and mission set are classified due for political reasons and not for technical reasons.

You just don’t have technical/capability breakouts that are delivered by what’s basically a sub-scale and unmanned space shuttle with a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed.

What you might have are procedural breakouts; changed ways of doing business (or doing things) in space that might make some of the world uncomfortable.

(screen shot from Space.com, http://www.space.com/11006-air-force-x37b-space-plane-secret-launch.html)

 

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