Sunday, April 3, 2011

New spy plane?

Amateur skywatchers have tracked down America's latest spy plane the X-37B. The plane which looks like a miniature version of the space shuttle is pictured above this column. It is unmanned and flown remotely. According to Wired, "The X-37B has generated intense interest, long before it ever left the ground. Boeing originally developed the twenty-nine foot ...craft... Then, the military took over in 2004, and the space plane went black. Its payloads were classified, its missions hush-hush."

Why it has such a cargo sized hold has been a matter of intense speculation. Space observers have tracked the plane following its second launch into orbit last week. Reportedly, "The X-37B is traveling in a slightly elliptical orbit more than 200 miles up, swooping from 43 degrees north latitude to 43 degrees south." According the expert Wired talked to, Brian Weeden, a former Air Force Space Command officer, now with the Secure World Foundation, the X-37B is orbiting around the fat middle of the planet, flying over the Middle East, Africa, and much of China, giving up global coverage, but getting more frequent passes. The orbit suggests that the space plane is spying.

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