Secret spaceship of Patagonia. Weapon or vehicle?

Секретный космолет Петагона. Оружие или транспорт?

Secret space drone came back to the Pentagon after 718 days in orbit.

They returned to Earth for experimental orbital plane X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-4, which is 718 days in space on a secret mission USA.

The Pentagon keeps secret the purpose of X-37B, however, call it the most modern and technologically advanced space ship reusable.

Experts suggest that on the basis of the X-37B was planned to conduct experiments in the program of creation of ion engine to explore the changing properties of materials in space.

The device can serve as a prototype for space interceptor or reconnaissance aircraft.

Корреспондент.net decided to find out what’s known about the secret United States spaceship and its mission.


History of the mission

Project zaputil in 1999, NASA and Boeing. Then speech about the military mission was not, it was assumed that the purpose of the X-37B will be the repair of satellites in orbit.

Originally the developers wanted the X-37B went into space in the cargo compartment of the Shuttle. The length of the device is slightly less than nine meters, which is four times less than Shuttle.

Wingspan of the device is 4.5 meters. Takeoff weight of the aircraft, which is capable of after returning from orbit to land in airplane mode, is about five tons.

The idea with the shuttles had to forget after the failure and collapse of the space Shuttle program. The device is withdrawn into space launch vehicles.

In 2004, the program moved to the Agency defense advanced research and Military-air forces of the USA.

X-37B, now a military project, was classified under the name Orbital Test Vehicle (experimental Orbital vehicle). Boeing remains in the project.

At the moment there are two of experimental sample of X-37B. Both spacecraft made four flights into orbit. In total they spent in space 2085 days.

The first flight of the UAV took place in 2010. Then he was launched into orbit in April, and returned to Earth in December. The second flight lasted from March 2011 to January 2012, and the third from December 2012 to October 2014.

The apparatus, as shown by the last flight, for a very long time to be in orbit and to quickly change it.


Interceptor and killer satellites?

There are many version, for what purpose the United States is developing the X-37B. What kind of tasks the unit performed in orbit, the us military did not disclose.

In General, almost all the details of the program X-37B classified. The Pentagon official said only that the drone can be used for delivery to orbit microsatellites.

Also from the developer was dvigatelya it is known that the X-37B is a test of modification of ion engine operating on the Hall effect. Although the first such engines did back in the middle of the last century.

Some experts suggest that the X-37B rather experienced EMDrive electromagnetic motors, which became a sensation after the publication of the report to NASA last fall.

This type dvigaetsja was invented by Briton Roger Scheuer in 1999, however, it was believed that the work he can’t.

Секретный космолет Петагона. Оружие или транспорт?


According to unconfirmed reports, in the future, such devices will perform intelligence tasks and to allocate on-orbit spacecraft.

In addition, experts believe that X-37B testing new control systems and automatic piloting, the new high-temperature coating and other technical innovations.

Because of the secrecy of the project, many experts say that the Pentagon is developing a device for the destruction of satellites or espionage, for different objects on the planet and in space.

Last year, former NASA astronaut and a member of the University of California Stephen Robinson said that X-37B can be used for the urgent delivery of people from the International space station to Earth.

However, the cargo Bay should increase from 2.5 to 4.2, cubic metres so it can accommodate two passengers and the pilot.