The mysterious X-37B is a reusable unmanned spacecraft. It is considered as one of the most mysterious and advanced spacecraft ever operated by the United States Military. The enigmatic space vehicle has reached 700 days in space and no one knows its exact purpose. Experts argue that the X-37B could be used as a spy satellite or to deliver weapons from space, others believe it is part of a secretive space program operated by a shadow government.
One of the most mysterious—known—spacecraft to ever be flown into space is without a doubt the Air Force X-37B spacecraft which reached a staggering 700 days in space.
No one knows what its true purpose is and what exactly its doing while it orbits Earth. However, numerous ufologists and conspiracy theorists argue that the X-37b is just one of the many secret spacecraft that belong to a ‘secret space fleet’ operated by the governemnt. It’s the tip of the iceberg some have said.
If it is indeed SECRET, it’s not the best-kept secret since there is some information about it. The X-37b is also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle 4. It carries a mysterious payload that is its biggest secret.
Some argue that it’s a next level space-bomber, while others believe it’s specifically designed to take out space weapons. In May 2010, Tom Burghardt wrote for Space Daily that the X-37B could be used as a spy satellite or to deliver weapons from space.
The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2004
Previously, the X-37b’s record in space was 674 days which lasted from December 2012 to October 2014.
The vessel was sent into space by the US Army in order to carry out a secret mission.
The secret space plane is known to have used the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for landing. According to space.com, recent plans to consolidate launch and landing activities could mean vehicles touch down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
However, where exactly and when the mystery spacecraft will return to Earth is a mystery just as its true mission.
According to Captain Annmarie Annicelli, an Air Force Spokeswoman: “The landing date will be determined based on the completion of the program’s on-orbit demonstrations and objectives for this mission. While the program has the capability to land at either KSC or Vandenberg, the landing location is determined by a variety of factors,” reports space.com.
Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com
The enigmatic space vehicle was built and designed by the Air Force and was launched into space atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 20, 2015.
It is considered as one of the most mysterious and advanced spacecraft ever operated by the United States Military.
The enigmatic spacecraft is designed to orbit our planet—following a specific mission—and is built to land like one of NASA’s now-retired shuttles.
The Spacecraft was put together by Boeing. The X-37b orbits our planet in low-earth orbit, between 110 (177km) and 500 miles (800km) above Earth. The ISS—by comparison—circles our plant at around 220 miles (350km) above Earth. The X-37b has an orbital speed of 28,044 km/h (17,426 mph).
Furthermore, while no one really knows what the contents of the X-37b’s payload are, NASA has revealed it features a materials experiment aboard, while the Planetary Society is tagging along with a solar-sail demo.
The solar sail demo—called LightSail—uses a propulsion system that acquires photons from the sun, commonly referred to as Solar Sailing. According to the Daily Mail, nine other CubeSat nano-satellites 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.