WASHINGTON DC – On September 7, the US mini space shuttle X-37B completed two years in orbit. Today it is one of the most enigmatic space apparatuses, as very little information about its mission is known.
Some experts are confident that this spacecraft pursues purely military purposes.
The NASA space agency and the US company Boeing began to carry out the project related to the construction of the X-37 in 1999. At the beginning of the works, its manufacturers considered that the device would be dedicated to repair satellites located at an altitude of up to 700 kilometers. Later however, the military fully classified this project and commissioned it to carry out the Advanced Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
This spacecraft’s previous mission ended in May 2017 after remaining 718 days in orbit. On October 7, 2017, the X-37B made its fifth flight in space and is still there today.
Although the device has been in orbit for two years, experts can only make assumptions about the tasks this shuttle can perform in space. According to one version, the US military conducts experiments aboard the X-37B. In particular, NASA investigates the influence the space environment has on different materials.
The director of the Space Policy Institute, Ivan Moiseev, explained to Sputnik that this device was created especially for use by the Pentagon. According to the agency’s interlocutor, the X-37B carries smaller intelligence satellites.
Why does X-37B ‘scare’ Washington’s enemies?
Former US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has almost confirmed the military designation of this spacecraft. Under the policy, the machine’s unusual maneuverability “drives” potential US enemies crazy.
“[…] Our enemies do not know where they will be later, as this occurs on the hidden side of the earth. We know that this lack of knowledge makes them crazy and I am really happy about it,” emphasized the employee quoted by various averages.
Answer from Russia
Ivan Moiseev recalled that the spacecraft’s current orbit passes over the equator, and it is unlikely that the spacecraft will actively change its position using its aerodynamic characteristics.
“To change its tilt and stand on Russia, the X-37B needs to expend a lot of energy that it cannot generate by itself,” he explains.
Moreover, nowadays Russia is one of the largest space powers in the world. Its advanced space control systems can track the flight of US satellites and easily detect all their movements.
“Watching the X-37B is an easier task for us. It’s so big that you just have to turn right or left and then we can figure it out,” Russian Aerospace Forces Major General Anatoly Nesterechuk said.
Not only does Russia now have surveillance satellites, it also has X-37B-like ship-fighting devices. These systems can neutralize them if they pose a threat to your national security.