Scientists have long dreamed of mastering this technology. It is possible that revolutionary changes are brewing in the energy sector.
There are space launches that the whole world is following. Like, for example, the recent launch of the Crew Dragon ship or the launch of a sports car Ilon Mask with a mannequin instead of a driver into the solar orbit in 2018. They are watched on the Web, they are actively discussed.
And there are missions that are known only to specialists. How many of you know that there is now an American mini-shuttle in outer space that is conducting a classified experiment there? AiF.ru tells what it is about.
What kind of ship is this?
The X-37 Orbital Test Ship was developed by Boeing with the participation of NASA and the United States Air Force. The goals and objectives for which it was created were not disclosed, but its technical characteristics are not secret. The ship has a length of about 9 meters with a wingspan of 4.5 meters. Take-off weight – less than 5 tons, payload – 900 kilograms. X-37 is equipped with solar panels, which serve as a source of energy when it is in orbit. The crew is not provided, flights take place automatically.
In fact, this is a mini-shuttle, a shuttle designed to fly back and forth. Each of his flights (since 2010 he has traveled to space five times, this one is already the sixth) is surrounded by an atmosphere of mystery. Experts are convinced that such a device is not profitable for the delivery of goods, and too expensive for standard experiments. By themselves, hypotheses arise about its military purpose.
First: X-37 is a prototype of a satellite interceptor, the so-called space inspector. It was created in order to work out the technology of testing other people’s orbital vehicles and disabling them. Second: this is a spy plane. It is known that the mini-shuttle has high maneuverability and is able to quickly change the height of the orbit. Former United States Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson claimed that his unusual maneuverability “drives enemies crazy.” And the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, in October 2018, expressed concern that this mini-shuttle could be used as a weapon carrier. Well, the fact that its payload may be the means of reconnaissance and tracking of outer space is beyond doubt.