There’s a mysterious secret space plane called the X-37B which has been orbiting our planet for 400 days in its secretive mission.
Photo by: U.S. Air Force
The secretive spacecraft’s latest trip, the Orbital Test Vehicle-5 (OTV-5), started on September 7th, 2017. The mystery spacecraft was launched on board one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 Rockets, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
Its current mission, as well all earlier missions remain a profound mystery.
In fact, so far, official reports have revealed scarce details about the OTV-5 mission, but it is believed that its current mission may be part of a larger plan by the Air Force in developing the so-called Space Force.
Not long ago, in June of 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he is directing the Pentagon to create a Space Force as an independent service branch aimed at ensuring American dominance in space.
The Spacecraft isn’t big.
It measures 8.8 meters long and is 2.9 meters tall, weighing around 5,000 kilograms.
The secret ‘spy plane’ as it has been dubbed by many, orbits our planet 320 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.
Its engines are powered by Solar Cells with lithium-ion batteries, which allow it to maneuver flawlessly in space.
The Secret Space Plane was built and developed by Boeing. Image Credit: Boeing.
Its payload remains a mystery.
No one can say for sure what the space plane is carrying in its payload, but we know that it is carrying a US thermal spreader and experts will test the longevity of electronics and heat pipes in space.
Some authors argue that the missions performed by the X-37B carry secret technology that is being tested in space. This, secretive technology (which remains shrouded in mystery) should ‘allegedly’ help the US in achieve dominance in the new space race.
Each of the spacecraft’s previous mission carried a different secretive payload into space.
“The fifth OTV mission continues to advance the X-37B’s performance and flexibility as a space technology demonstrator and host platform for experimental payloads,” explained an Air Force spokesman.
“Building upon the fourth mission and previous collaboration with experiment partners, this mission will host the Air Force Research Laboratory Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader payload to test experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipe technologies in the long duration space environment.”
The true purpose of its missions remains a secret guarded by the U.S. Air Force. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force.
We have to remember that President Donald Trump announced that ‘space’ is a national security issue and the United States cannot allow other countries—specifically Russia and China to lead and pave the way.
And while President Trump developed a new initiative to form a Space Force, some experts have already suggested that the X-37B is part of an early version of a Space Force.
“Ironically, the X-37B is exactly the type of program — toward giving the U.S. flexibility of operations in space — that seems to be prompting the current push for a Space Force, yet are already underway,” explained Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, in an article published by Space.com.