(Image source: Boeing)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN


The U.S. Air Force launched its top-secret unmanned shuttle Tuesday, marking the beginning of the mysterious plane’s third mission in space.

The Boeing X-37B was carried into space aboard a 19-story-tall Atlas V rocket, on its way to who knows where, to do who knows what. (Video via YouTube / SpaceVidsNet)

The Air Force is keeping pretty tight-lipped about the shuttle’s mission and payload. What’s known for certain is that the craft can stay in space for at least 469 days — the length of its last mission. (Video via NBC News)

The Air Force’s official page for the shuttle says its primary purpose is to test new technologies, such as new flight systems, heat shielding and navigation control. It’s also meant simply to demonstrate a reliable, reusable spacecraft.

The fact the Air Force is being deliberately vague about the shuttle means there’s no end of speculation. John Zarrella tells HLN — some of it’s pretty wild.

“Some people say that it is an on-demand reconnaissance satellite. … Others have said it’s an anti-satellite weapon, in other words something that can be used to shoot down spy satellites in space.”

Other theories say it’s a weapons delivery platform, or some kind of weather modification system. Or some version of Reagan’s Star Wars program. The list goes on. Fox News’s Shepard Smith adds:

“There’s even one theory that they might just be pulling a fast one trying to make the Chinese wonder what we’re doing. Personally, I have no idea.”

It’s not known when this particular shuttle will return to Earth, but this may be its last trip. Boeing has announced they’re building a new, bigger version that will include a passenger capsule.

Air Force Launches Top-Secret Mini Shuttle into Space

by Steven Sparkman
1
Transcript
Dec 11, 2012

Air Force Launches Top-Secret Mini Shuttle into Space

 

(Image source: Boeing)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN


The U.S. Air Force launched its top-secret unmanned shuttle Tuesday, marking the beginning of the mysterious plane’s third mission in space.

The Boeing X-37B was carried into space aboard a 19-story-tall Atlas V rocket, on its way to who knows where, to do who knows what. (Video via YouTube / SpaceVidsNet)

The Air Force is keeping pretty tight-lipped about the shuttle’s mission and payload. What’s known for certain is that the craft can stay in space for at least 469 days — the length of its last mission. (Video via NBC News)

The Air Force’s official page for the shuttle says its primary purpose is to test new technologies, such as new flight systems, heat shielding and navigation control. It’s also meant simply to demonstrate a reliable, reusable spacecraft.

The fact the Air Force is being deliberately vague about the shuttle means there’s no end of speculation. John Zarrella tells HLN — some of it’s pretty wild.

“Some people say that it is an on-demand reconnaissance satellite. … Others have said it’s an anti-satellite weapon, in other words something that can be used to shoot down spy satellites in space.”

Other theories say it’s a weapons delivery platform, or some kind of weather modification system. Or some version of Reagan’s Star Wars program. The list goes on. Fox News’s Shepard Smith adds:

“There’s even one theory that they might just be pulling a fast one trying to make the Chinese wonder what we’re doing. Personally, I have no idea.”

It’s not known when this particular shuttle will return to Earth, but this may be its last trip. Boeing has announced they’re building a new, bigger version that will include a passenger capsule.

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