SpaceX launched the US air force’s super-secret space shuttle on Thursday, blasting off from Kennedy space center in Florida as schools and businesses boarded up for Hurricane Irma.
The crewless aircraft, a technology testing mini-shuttle capable of spending years in orbit, rode an unmanned Falcon rocket on the fifth such flight.
There are two X-37B orbital test vehicles in existence, and between them they have already logged five and a half years in orbit. Officials will not say what the spacecraft are doing up there
Video at The Guardian
RODs from God - that is the Xb37 platform. The last time we saw the XB37 raise it's head around the ConTrail, was during the Christchurch Earthquakes, hows that for coincidence. William Mook knows more...
Interestingly, if you place a Rod of God weapons platform into a semi-synchronous orbit at a distance of 20,350km from the planet, the platform will orbit the planet every 12 hours while maintaining very slow velocity relative to the movement of the land below. A semi-synchronous orbit (or a quad-synchronous orbit with a 6 hour orbital period) would allow the Rod of God platform to (nearly) cross over the continents twice per 24 hour period, all while maintaining an orbital velocity of just 3.86km/s (a velocity that's even lower, relative to the ground, if the orbit is placed in alignment with the Earth's rotation). From this orbital altitude, a rod could be dropped onto the planet in a matter of just a few hours (the actual orbital decay time depends on orbital velocity, angle of trajectory and other factors).
Good article here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&obje...
Interesting to see how SpaceX 1st stage rockets return to the pad where they took off from. Impressive. Didn't know they could do that. What else aren't they telling us.
Here's something to think about: there are two of these things. They are reporting on the mission of one of them. Where's the other?
last week a PLAIN UNMARKED Hercules transport plane came in low over Christchurch at a whopping pace. I know because it flew straight over me as I was headed home from work.
I tried quizzing a contact who usually knows about these things, but all he could say was "it wasn't one of ours, the pilot was too skilled!". It can't have remained on the runway for very long as I keep a close eye on the Antarctic Op's air traffic.
Do they launch from Antarctica? Was there an XB37 in the cargo hold of that Herc? Sheer speculation I know. Any thoughts guys?
As for the one they're reporting on, it's supposedly carrying "small satellites". Could these be HAARP relay sats?