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IT'S one of the most anticipated space launches since the original manned space shuttle Columbia blasted off in 1982. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been sunk into it over nearly 20 years of research and development.
It's the X-37B.
And unfortunately, that's all we can tell you, because the unmanned spacecraft, which looks like a small shuttle, is one of the US military's most tightly guarded secrets.......
Scientists have reacted angrily to the revelation that the US military is funding development of a weapon intended to deliver an "excrutiating bout of pain" from over a mile away. The "Pulsed Energy Projectile" (PEP) device "fires a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma when it hits something solid", the New Scientist explains. If you happen to be that something solid, then you get temporarily incapacitated without suffering permanent injury.
Originally posted by nerbot
All very well it being an unmanned craft, but can it fix itself if something breaks or there's a problem?
That's a very expensive toy to blast beyond human reach isn't it, and the thing about ANYTHING manmade is it CAN go wrong.
I don't trust it myself... the purpose that is. If the pentagon has been involved it must have a nasty trick up it's sleeve and what will it do and what will the consequences be and for who?
An Atlas 5 rocket crowned with a covert U.S. Air Force space plane rolled to a Florida launch pad Thursday to begin final preps for blastoff with a secret cache of military experiments.
The U.S. Air Force is poised to launch its second robotic X-37B space plane on a secret mission Friday, with some experts speculating that the classified flight will test new spy satellite technologies.
[Russia and China;] ""They see the X-37B, at least in their public and diplomatic statements, as an example of the American space weapons program," Weeden told SPACE.com."