Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Little Spacecraft That Couldn't

Re-enter, that is...




VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., June 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force space plane in orbit for more than a year will come back to Earth this weekend, say officials who remained mum on the mission's purpose.
The robotic X-37B, after 15 months in space, is set to land Saturday at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, although weather and other factors could change that, officials said.

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2012/06/15/Secret-US-space-plane-prepares-to-land/UPI-24061339801247/

Well of course they remained "mum" on the missions purpose - 15 months in orbit? That's a incredibly long time for a test flight. Too long.

My money says they lost control of this craft months ago, and now they have either re-established  some sort of control, or it's about to come down all by itself  because of a degrading orbit.

If it lands where they want it to, well and good. If it hits someplace that makes no sense, then it's probably coming down out of control and they will release some sort of blather about breaking up during reentry, or something dubious like that.

I have little faith in today's batch of space engineers, a bunch of  eight-to-fivers trying to re-design what came before them, all monitored and controlled by a legion of "safety at all costs" bureaucrats whose only job seems to be the slowdown of America's space efforts.

I certainly hope I'm wrong, that it lands exactly as originally planned. Perhaps there is still a core of  exceptional people somewhere in our national space effort that can do the job.

Doesn't matter too much -  With people like Obama in charge, our national space efforts are doomed anyway. It will be up to people like those who built and launched the SpcaceX to put us back into space.


6 comments:

Astrosmith said...

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av026/landing/

Well, that post was easy to debunk. It landed this morning and is supposedly just fine.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

If SpaceX can figure out how to make a "clone drone" it can launch via booster from an aircraft flying at the "edge of space", servicing the ISS with crew and supplies will be a lot easier.

Bob said...

Astro:

Glad to hear it. But you still gotta wonder what it was doing up there for 15 months. That sort of mission time makes no sense to me.

Maybe it was mapping the entire planet with a camera better than anyone elses... including that rusted out barbeque grill in your backyard.

Astrosmith said...

They probably saw me grilling chicken on that grill, Bob, and could read the label on the bottle of KC Masterpiece.

It's probably a good practice to just look up frequently and flip them off.

texlahoma said...

They were probably doing something to help mankind free themselves from the bonds of tyranny.

I'm glad I was typing that, couldn't have kept a straight face saying it.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

Yeah tex..."making the world safe for deMOCKracy"...lol!