The Mystery Toy Comes Home To Roost

The X-37B and it’s seven month mission are so secretive, not even Julian Assange knows what the hell it’s all about.

Secretive X-37B robot space plane returns to Earth

After seven months in space, the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B unmanned space plane returned to Earth today to wrap up a debut flight shrouded in secrecy.

The robotic X-37B space plane landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to end its maiden voyage. The space plane, also known as Orbital Test Vehicle 1, glided back to Earth over the Pacific Ocean before landing at the revamped Vandenberg runway at about 1:16 a.m. PST (0916 GMT) Dec. 3.

“Today’s landing culminates a successful mission based on close teamwork between the 30th Space Wing, Boeing and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office,” said Lt Col Troy Giese, X-37B program manager from the AFRCO, which oversaw the mission. “We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission.”

See also:
Secret Space Plane Finally Lands; Twin Preps for Launch
A successful mission, but Air Force won’t say more
Air Force’s Secret Space Plane Lands In California
X-37B, which officially was not on a secret unmanned mission, returns from secret, unmanned mission
Secret X-37B Mini Space Shuttle Lands
US military spacecraft back on ground after 7 months
Unmanned X-37B spacecraft lands at VAFB
Unmanned X-37B Spacecraft Returns to Earth
X 37b Mini Space Shuttle Lands Safely
It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Mystery Toy!

Gee, I’m curious, I sure wish I knew what the X 37b program was all about. Acknowledging the existence of the program while keeping its purpose a secret is tantamount to teasing.

/where’s WikiLeaks when you really need them?

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The Ultimate Estes Rocket Takes Off

Straight from the pages of the Estes catalog, the dreams of generations of kids have been realized and private sector orbital flight has been achieved. Their video feed capability leaves a bit to be desired though.

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 private rocket is a success

The Falcon 9, the first of a new generation of private rockets that could one day make space travel commonplace, successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on Friday.

The 180-foot rocket put a model of its Dragon capsule into orbit about 160 miles up, setting the stage for possible flights to the international space station early next year. The flight came after an initial abort right at ignition.

The launch gives a major boost to the rocket’s builder, SpaceX, and its Internet-tycoon founder, Elon Musk. But the launch was almost as important to the Obama administration, which has proposed a far greater role for commercial space companies in the future of NASA.

After Friday’s successful test launch — unusual for a maiden voyage — SpaceX plans to send a fully operational rocket and capsule into orbit this summer, and one to the space station next year.

See also:
Falcon 9 rockets into space in dramatic maiden flight
SpaceX Rocket Achieves Earth Orbit on First Flight
SpaceX Falcon 9 achieves orbit on maiden flight
Falcon 9, world’s first private rocket launched
Obama Space Plan ‘Vindicated’ by Private Rocket Launch, Builder Says
SpaceX fans and foes speak out
Spirialing ‘UFO’ Over Australia Was Likely Falcon 9 Rocket
SpaceX – Falcon
Falcon 9

/well hey, it’s not the Saturn V, but if it can save us from having to rely on hitching space rides with the Russians, bring it on