X-37B OTV Spaceplane Launch to Militarize Space on Earth Day
April 22, 2010
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle also referred to as the Advanced Technology Demonstrator is set for launch tonight, April 22, 2010. It will be taken aloft by The Atlas V in the 501 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41. The planned liftoff time is 7:52 p.m. and the launch window will extend through 8:01 p.m.
The X-37B OTV is not your everyday launch. First of all, this is not a NASA program, but a U.S. government launch that is cloaked in secrecy. Shuttle Atlantis only this morning has reached its seaside perch on launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. It is targeted for a six crew, May 14 launch to the International Space Station. http://flametrench.flatoday.net/
The X-37 program, while originally a NASA initiative, is now led by Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office officials, which expedite development and fielding of select Defense Department combat support and weapons systems. AFRCO officials are currently working on the X-37B program, building upon early development and testing conducted by officials from NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory. http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123199790
The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_14924089?source=rss said the launch was being done by the Centennial-based United Launch Alliance. This will be United Launch Alliance’s third launch of the year and the 21st Atlas V launch in program history. http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/.
Featured above is one of, “Trevor Paglen’s “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me: Emblems From the Pentagon’s Black World.” Paglen, an “artist, writer and experimental geographer,” has assembled about 40 colorful patch insignia from secret, military “black” programs that are hardly ever discussed in public… Almost every patch has a Latin phrase at the bottom, e.g. Semper en Obscurus, or “Always in the Dark,” the motto of the Air Force’s Special Projects Office.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/opinion/08iht-edbeam.1.9872586.html
On this AFRCO patch, “ The Latin at the bottom of the patch translates as “Doing God’s work with other people’s money.” The image is part of the http://www.naderlibrary.com/index.htm.
This patch is from the Phillips Laboratory Military Spaceplane Technology (MiST) Program Office at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. The original version of this patch featured an “X-Wing” fighter from Star Wars.
The Air Force interest in military spaceplanes stretches back nearly 40 years from the first Aerospaceplane program and Dyna-Soar/X-20 program (late 1950s-early 1960s); to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s Single-Stage Rocket Technology program that built the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X) experimental reusable spaceplane. http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/msp.htm
From a 1999 Report via http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/report/1999/99-154.htm “The Air Force must quickly develop doctrine and command relationships designed to maximize the contributions routine space access brings to the joint warfighter. Doctrinal constructs for the effective use of USAF expeditionary aerospace power will help ensure our nation maintains its lead as the preeminent aerospace power. This paper specifically uses the near-future advent of Reusable Launch Vehicles and their implications for an Expeditionary Air Force as an illustration of how future Joint Force Commanders may effectively bring aerospace power to bear in the battlespace as a combined, synergistic whole.”
Basically, 11 years later America is about to officially weaponize space, or should we say at least for the first time, admitting it.
for the full story…X-37B OTV Spaceplane Launch to Militarize Space on Earth Day