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Amateurs Spy On US Spy Plane

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the doesn't-actually-exist dept.

Space 172

arshadk writes with this excerpt from Wired's Danger Room: "The X-37B has generated intense interest, long before it ever left the ground. Boeing originally developed the 29-foot unmanned craft — a kind of miniature Space Shuttle — for NASA. Then, the military took over in 2004, and the space plane went black. Its payloads were classified, its missions hush-hush. ... You can even see the space plane for yourself: The X-37B is traveling in a slightly elliptical orbit more than 200 miles up, swooping from 43 degrees north latitude to 43 degrees south."

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Was that supposed to be a summary? (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696644)

Is that just three sentences copypasted at random, with no attempt whatsoever made to explain what this article is about, or what?

Re:Was that supposed to be a summary? (5, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696792)

Here's a summary:
Each time the X-37B is launched a bunch of amateurs make a game out of finding it in orbit. It took a month to find it using telescopes on the first mission, but only 4 days on the current mission. It is currently in a very low (lower than the space station) non-polar orbit, which is unusual for spy satellites, because it will never cross large areas of the planet. So they presume it is used for spying on specific areas on this mission, likely the Middle East as it has good coverage of that area. Basically all that's known is its orbit, not what it is capable of nor what it is actually doing.

Hard to believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697100)

If the US Military wants to not be seen, they can do it. This is probably some object they put up their for the enemy to track. They are very good at what they do!

Re:Hard to believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697144)

Nonsense. Until complete invisibility is achieved(and it hasn't been despite promising reports), it can be seen, regardless of how good they are. They can have deception, etc. on their side but they can't do a lot about rays of light.

Re:Hard to believe (2)

WAN Rover (1221570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697226)

How will you be able to tell when "complete invisibility is achieved" ? When you can't see the invisible object...?

Re:Hard to believe (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697268)

When Wonder Woman sues you for patent infringement. Duh!

Re:Hard to believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697278)

There will be a surge in reports of ladies undies going missing from locker rooms.

Re:Hard to believe (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697398)

Nonsense. Until complete invisibility is achieved(and it hasn't been despite promising reports), it can be seen, regardless of how good they are. They can have deception, etc. on their side but they can't do a lot about rays of light.

They can release an inflatable decoy and then change trajectory. Or perhaps, maybe the actually observation platform is stealthy and designed to detach from the X-37B, and then a few weeks later the X-37B alters orbit to pick up the observation platform and return to earth? Not as complicated as you would think.

Re:Hard to believe (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697472)

A matte black satellite against the black background of space is going to be hard to spot.

Re:Hard to believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697992)

Maybe they turned the white side down this time. :-)

Re:Hard to believe (5, Informative)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698036)

If the US Military wants to not be seen, they can do it. This is probably some object they put up their for the enemy to track. They are very good at what they do!

This is space we're talking about. And There Ain't No Stealth In Space [projectrho.com] .

Re:Was that supposed to be a summary? (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697492)

If they wanted good coverage of the Middle East, they'd put the bird in a Molniya style orbit. This sounds like a circular orbit

Re:Was that supposed to be a summary? (2)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697688)

If they wanted good coverage of the Middle East, they'd put the bird in a Molniya style orbit. This sounds like a circular orbit

Thanks for the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] -visit-causing post :-D (+1 informative, if I had mod points)

Re:Was that supposed to be a summary? (3, Interesting)

amorsen (7485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697802)

A Molniya orbit has the disadvantage that the apogee is over the area you want to watch. The X-37B seems to prefer being quite low; I do not believe you could construct a useful Molniya orbit with such a low apogee. At perigee it would be extremely low and quite fast, which means lots of air resistance.

Re:Was that supposed to be a summary? (2)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697860)

I thought Molniya orbits were for primarily higher latitudes, which is where the Middle East isn't.

Not to mention, the apogee dwell occurs at, well, near and at apogee, which is also not what you want for an imaging satellite. Unless you want it swooping by the earth at the perigee, where it is going it's fastest.

i remember this.... (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696652)

An article a little while back published its secret launch date

Let me assure you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696658)

There is no plane, there never was a plane, and if you see anything in the sky, it's a weather balloon.

Re:Let me assure you (4, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697010)

Here's a handy chart [imgur.com] to aid in identification.

Re:Let me assure you (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697084)

The irony being that they used to try to cover up their spy balloons by pretending they were UFOs. Jokes on them because now nobody believes it when they really are basically weather balloons with cameras.

Re:Let me assure you (3, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697140)

One thing you can be sure of - if you see a flying object, and it's unidentified, then it is a UFO.

Re:Let me assure you (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698166)

One thing you can be sure of - if you see a flying object, and it's unidentified, then it is a UFO.

Surely by definition once you determined an object to be a UFO it becomes identified as such. I hereby move that the term is changed to LaUFO, or loo-fo to commence immediately so sayeth the ruler of Bethos.

Worst. Summary. Ever. (0, Troll)

Cigarra (652458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696670)

What's wrong with the editors in this place? Too much work?

Re:Worst. Summary. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696956)

"That's what they want you to think."

Orbital clues (4, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696672)

From the article

The typical spy satellite has a polar orbit...

...The X-37B, on the other hand, is orbiting around the fat middle of the plane...

...The orbit lends credence to the idea that the space plane is an orbiting spy.

Just sayin'

Re:Orbital clues (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696692)

Argh

'middle of the plane' = 'middle of the planet'

Re:Orbital clues (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697058)

But of course! Because it's not acting like a spy, it has to be a spy!

It's so obvious! Or are you one of THEM trying to distract us?

Re:Orbital clues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35698118)

I suggest you RTFA and then tell us why it can't possibly be a spy.

Where to look (4, Informative)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696714)

http://www.heavens-above.com/ [heavens-above.com]
Enter your coordinates (requires a login, otherwise it's 0 degrees N / 0 degrees E) and look for the X-37B link under "Satellites".

Re:Where to look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697538)

It doesn't require a login, just change the lat/long in the URL silly.

Metricate, damnit! (3, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696750)

29-foot

To 95% of world's population: that's 8.83m.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (4, Funny)

SteveM (11242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696798)

Actually, that's true for 100% of the world's population.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696842)

Actually, that's true for 100% of the world's population.

You obviously don't work in the U.S. aerospace industry. It's still inches and pounds over here.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696904)

His point is that 29 feet is roughly equivalent to 8.83m EVERYWHERE on the planet, and he's right.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697296)

The French, having forced everyone to adopt their units, have now redefined the meter in order to differ from everyone else.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696912)

So, how many meters are equal to 29 feet in the US aerospace industry?

rj

Re:Metricate, damnit! (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697080)

Deducing from this mission [wikipedia.org] , I'd say 29.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697134)

Yeah, but we use mils, or 0.001 inch, so we're just as decimally as anyone. :-P

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697230)

just like when the military there use "klicks", unable to use that nasty FRENCH measurement openly, right? They mean kilometres.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697656)

just like when the military there use "klicks", unable to use that nasty FRENCH measurement openly, right? They mean kilometres.

Yeah, because computer scientists never say megs or gigs for short. If I said kilometers more than three times a day I'd also go with something easier.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698116)

Name a non military use of "klicks". It was used in the USA forces, because they didnt want to say "kilometre". I doubt that US soldiers would even have LEARNT what a kilometre was before service, as in they wouldnt know accurately nor "think in" metric. I know what a "mile" is, I have roughly an idea of how it compares to a kilometre, I wouldnt have a clue what two miles in length looks like, I can easily picture two kilometres.

I was out geocaching with friends today, watching my iPhone measure distances to hidden treasures. I know very well what metres and kilometres look like. Growing up outside of those three little countries that use "imperial" in the year 2011, I wouldnt have a friggin clue about working in miles.

"klomeddres" takes about as long to say as "miles", its not difficult, IF you're used to it :-) In the same way that I stumble pronouncing names in languages other than English.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696900)

Americans aren't human beings, they don't count.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697094)

Man has a point.

It's like asking "what's heavier, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?"

Re:Metricate, damnit! (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697192)

If it's gold bricks, then they are measured in Troy tons which are lighter than standard avoirdupois units. Thus the ton of feathers would be heavier.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697470)

Great, but since "heavier" is a term tied to weight, where are these tons located? Using your units of measure, if the feathers are on Earth and the gold is on the Moon, the gold would be lighter.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697670)

That's the "beauty" of the imperial system. Not only do you always measure things in two units (feet and inches, pounds and ounces), and use fractions which vary by unit, but your choice of measurement unit varies by what you're measuring and where you're measuring it. It's amazing we got any science done at all.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697890)

That's the "beauty" of the imperial system. Not only do you always measure things in two units (feet and inches, pounds and ounces), and use fractions which vary by unit, but your choice of measurement unit varies by what you're measuring and where you're measuring it. It's amazing we got any science done at all.

Well, to be fair, that's also sort of a filter for allowing only sufficiently smart to enter the field of science or engineering (or even "digging ditches", but with "ditch digging", you're often going to have to take who you can get, so construction work rarely goes according to the plans). If you can't do unit conversions, you should probably do something else, such as management...

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697984)

I was really poking fun at weight vs. mass, but okay.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697668)

It's also true for 95% of the population, though. And five percent. And for myself.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696808)

X-37B was built by the remaining 5%, using metrics no less.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696824)

I like to think of it as 8.83 billion [jimloy.com] nanometers.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1, Troll)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696960)

Ew. If there's one thing that strikes me as even more ridiculous than the imperial system, it's this "milliard" bullshit.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697248)

Ew. If there's one thing that strikes me as even more ridiculous than the imperial system, it's this "milliard" bullshit.

That and the kibibyte system.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (2, Informative)

danbeck (5706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697000)

No. We already use it for any serious scientific or engineering work (with the exception if this idiot blunder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter [wikipedia.org] )

Why does it make you so upset that we use SI for our recipes and street signs?

Re:Metricate, damnit! (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697098)

To 95% of world's population: that's 8.83m.

Yeah, but that 95% doesn't have an X-37B, so it really doesn't matter, does it?

Our super-secret spy space-drone, our units of measurement. That's how we roll up in this bitch.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697210)

How do you know? Perhaps the other 95% are better at keeping their secret spy planes actually secret? :p

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697322)

Last I heard, the Swedes were working on a Stealth Frigate, a ship effectively invisible to radar and sonar (carbon fibre hull, ultra-dark materials, non-ferrous engines, that sort of thing). Haven't heard anything on that since. If they actually developed such a vessel, then between that and Google Earth, I'm not sure they'd need any spy planes.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697414)

The Danes have already built it.

And it's fully loaded and ready to do battle with the Swedes.

--
BMO

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697762)

Shouldn't they be preparing to fight the Dutch [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697874)

Heh. I didn't see that one. I'll have to dl it later. My bro is a bigger Simpsons fan.

There's a lot more bad history (wars) between Sweden and Denmark than Denmark and the Netherlands.

http://satwcomic.com/pacifist [satwcomic.com]
http://satwcomic.com/nordic-brothers [satwcomic.com]

--
BMO

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

lingon (559576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698100)

It's called the Visby class [wikimedia.org] corvette. Pretty cool ship actually, although apparently the on-board systems run Windows, which should make it a pretty easy target ... :)

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697392)

You sir, get the cool comeback prize! LOL I need mod points!

Now land it on Mars (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697672)

How about making it a Mars lander, you've had so much success with that the last time you went all giddy about this.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697132)

Its probably a nine metre space plane and the 29 foot figure was made up for public consumption.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697200)

Well when the less advanced 95% finally can make something as cool then they can publish their specs in that commie measuring system.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697224)

Well when the less advanced 95% finally can make something as cool then they can publish their specs in that commie measuring system.

It's French , IIRC, not "commie" unless, well, um, . . .

Just be thankful they didn't succeed with metric time.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697940)

Well, guess where the first "commie" revolution took place?

Re:Metricate, damnit! (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698194)

Mesopotamia?
Egypt?
Peru?

The idea that a ruling elite is bad for everyone else isn't new. Finding something elegant to replace it has been the difficult bit.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697276)

Slashdot is American so suck it.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (-1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697446)

For God's sake, STFU. Nobody cares about your asinine pedantic crap about metric. Its neither better or worse than imperial, assholes bleating on about it isn't going to convince anybody.

Re:Metricate, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697512)

Yeah, no kidding, what kinda hillbilly would want his scientific measurements described in units relating to science? Man, how many libraries-of-congress worth of bandwidth is it gonna take...

Where's The Money From? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696810)

Don't you find it depressing that it seems to be so easy for the military to send stuff into space on a routine basis? NASA can't even come up with a replacement for the space shuttle.

Of course there are other things which seem so much easier for the military (like sending what are basically space telescopes when the scientific community have to share just a few).

Re:Where's The Money From? (1, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696830)

Of course there are other things which seem so much easier for the military (like sending what are basically space telescopes when the scientific community have to share just a few).

Something tells me those 'basically space telescopes' have more specialized purposes that make them not so useful to the scientists -- and the government deems national security a few notches in importance above providing scientists resources to make observations.

I suppose... private industry could pitch in and build more telescopes for the scientists, if there's money to be made in it...... E.g. renting out access hours to telescopes to professional (and amateur) astronomers.

Re:Where's The Money From? (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697334)

Yeah, watching nudist beaches is indeed more specialized, but I dispute the claim that this makes them less useful to scientists. If anything, geeks need devices like that more.

Re:Where's The Money From? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696848)

the people that wanted to work for NASA as kids are now working for the military, and its various contractors.

ain't it grand.

Re:Where's The Money From? (4, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696952)

Well of course it's easy, they don't send people up. Being man-rated makes the space shuttle vastly more complex.

Re:Where's The Money From? (3, Informative)

danbeck (5706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697032)

No, I find it absolutely wonderful that our military is broad and powerful enough to nearly 100% guarantee that our scientists and engineers have the time to spend on civilian pursuits like medical breakthroughs, discovering the far edges of our universe and creating sweet shit like velcro. It's pitiful that people like you think freedom costs nothing. A few hundred years ago, you'd be a shit shoveling peasant in some god forsaken hell hole. Look at you know though, you can follow the oust of Mubarak from Egypt from the comfort of your reddit bookmark.

Re:Where's The Money From? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697198)

US doesn't seem to do any of these things. Your military is a parasite that feeds off worthwhile projects.

FYI, Velcro was invented by a Swiss.

Re:Where's The Money From? (0)

danbeck (5706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697254)

Everyone knows that American scientists "invented it" after an alien space craft crashed in the desert.

Re:Where's The Money From? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697352)

Velcro wouldn't have been possible without nylons. Nylons were engineered in the U.S.A. by Dupont for use in parachutes. NASA popularized Velcro.

Re:Where's The Money From? (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698134)

Nylons were engineered in the U.S.A.

Then why are they named after NY and London?

Re:Where's The Money From? (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697572)

US doesn't seem to do any of these things. Your military is a parasite that feeds off worthwhile projects.

The US Military is a jobs project that employs 2.5 million people - 1.55 million active, 850,000 reserve, 100,000 Department of defense. The education system in the US is severely dysfunctional, and the military is now the only place where young people can get all-expense paid vocational training.

So it's not all bombs and bullets.

FYI, Velcro was invented by a Swiss.

Interesting, thanks. :) Velcro [wikipedia.org]

Re:Where's The Money From? (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698136)

I'm quite sure that if the education program had the military's budget it wouldn't be as bad as it is now.

Re:Where's The Money From? (1, Flamebait)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697404)

Medical breakthroughs - mostly the Brits, French and allegedly Amsterdam but the investigator there has failed to return.
Astronomy - mostly the Brits and Russians
Velcro - the Swiss

Freedom does indeed cost nothing. Enslavement is the expensive option. Almost every peaceful revolution has resulted in a peaceful (comparatively-speaking) government, every violent revolution (without exception, the US included) has resulted in a violent system of governance and a violent populace.

As for Mubarak, he was mostly installed and maintained by the US. That wasn't cheap, y'know. Col. Ollie North, you remember him, the Pentagon's drug-and-gun runner to finance violence and instability? Consider how much US money is believed spent on "black ops" work, and now consider how much extra must actually be spent for Admiral Poyndexter and his ilk (before and after) to take those kinds of risks for extra funds.

A few hundred years ago, science and technology weren't too bad. Well, in Europe, at least. Once we'd kicked the religious fanatics out (d'you know how many wars and massacres those guys started?) and forced them to the New World (made a great lunatic asylum as well as a penal colony), advances came much more rapidly. Didn't know America still had peasants 200 years ago - shows how backwards a place it was compared to the civilized world.

(Y'know that America still had slaves then? C'mon, the Swiss abolished the practice in the 12th century and even the English started dismantling it around 1770-1776. About the time there was a slave-owner revolt somewhere. Now where was that again?)

Re:Where's The Money From? (1, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697524)

lollertroller. Read some history. People weren't flocking here from Europe because of the utopian paradise being run over there.. Guess who came over in steerage? Oh, that's right, the peasants.

Anyways, I think the GP's point is that having a strong protective government force allows less essential pursuits aside from "find food, don't get stabbed" like science to flourish. Check out how well things were faring in the middle ages vs. more stable eras.

What is freedom? Freedom from getting stabbed by my neighbor? Freedom to not starve? Freedom to not be raided by barbarians from the North? How are these achieved without threat of retribution or a central justice system?

Re:Where's The Money From? (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697900)

Fear earns nothing but violence and destruction. Fear and violence are the acts of despots determined to keep what is not theirs.

The Borgia crime family - one of the greatest mafiosa gangs in history - presided over the Enlightenment and largely caused most of it. True, there was a lot of fear, but centralized justice and peace on Earth there wasn't.

Scotland and the outlying islands achieved a murder rate average of 0.00000045 per thousand people per year over its first four millenia of occupation. It also had very very little scientific or technical development (well, ok, they invented the stone circle, the method of raising monoliths, and for some reason apartment complexes, but not a whole lot else).

And these guys don't seem too afraid of central justice. [guardian.co.uk] Oh, and the ATF being busted for smuggling guns into Mexico for 6-10 years? Yeah, right, those're the guys I'd trust to defend my freedom. Not.

Cambridge University, one of the leading institutions in the world for scientific research, is one of the most left-wing and has some of the greatest protections against retribution and indeed any kind of central justice system. It was even founded by criminals. Many top US universities for science could say the same, except for perhaps the being founded by criminals bit.

The US military recently admitted death-squads in Afghanistan went out killing civilians for fun. C'mon, the "one rotten apple" gets old after the first few hundred.

Freedom from getting stabbed by my neighbor? How about freedom from shoot-outs over where the dog chose to go? [wwltv.com] Besides, the US has a higher murder rate than almost any other country in the world.

It also has the highest infant mortality rate in the Western world, a preventable death rate double that of the next-highest Western nation, one of the poorest ratings in education and basic literacy, a low rating in overall happiness, the highest rate of incarceration outside of China, an execution rate comparable to North Korea, and a military budget in excess of the rest of the top ten combined. So I'm not seeing a whole lot of this freedom that all this money is supposedly buying.

Well, outside of Wachovia bank that is. They seem to have bought a whole lot of freedom, albeit at the cost of a Mexican civil war and a few hundred thousand lives.

The Victorians once believed as you did. Earned them a crime wave. Then they discarded retribution and threats for moderation and civility, resulting in a rebirth of British democracy.

Re:Where's The Money From? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697260)

You don't actually think they spend $20,000.00 on a hammer, $30,000.00 on a toilet seat do you?

ITS FUCKING SPY PLANE!! NOT SPOSED CENTS 2 MAKE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696852)

Story told full in !!

Like old tale, how to keep muslim in suspense? I tell tomorrow. No like? Go burn korahn!

No stealth in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697126)

Re:No stealth in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697436)

... yet... to our knowledge...

X-37B merely a diversion? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697188)

Maybe the vehicle itself is merely a diversion for some payload released earlier? If some pico-satellites were released early in the mission would these be easily trackable with optical telescopes?

Classified != Secret (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697208)

The X-37B is partially classified. It is not anywhere near secret. There is a huge difference.

Classified projects are frequently used for promotion and propaganda. Secret projects are actually kept secret.

Re:Classified != Secret (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698158)

Like the SR-71, no information is worse than a little info -- So they released inaccurate info to sate the interested parties, best of both worlds.

Checking out Libya? (5, Insightful)

vitriolum (1280610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697298)

Looks like the current orbit will take it right over Tripoli.
http://www.n2yo.com/?s=37375 [n2yo.com]

Re:Checking out Libya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697394)

mod parent up.

Re:Checking out Libya? (1)

goruka (1721094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697450)

Mod parent up, it's going straight over the Lybian coast. This confirms the point in the article about why this kind of orbits are useful. It seems that it can obtain a complete picture of the lybian coastline every a few couple of hours, something very difficult to achieve with current satellites. What is most disturbing is that uprisings in Lybia were just begining when X37-B was launched, and it wasn't clear that a civil war broke up yet, so did the military change plans for the mission, or was all this attack on Lybia planned beforehand?

Re:Checking out Libya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697648)

or was all this attack on Lybia planned beforehand?

And with that last communication, goruka was never seen in public again.

Somewhere in the states, an FBI agent is laughing to himself: "Ha ha, he didn't even use a proxy!"

planned (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697686)

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24049

Re:Checking out Libya? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35698140)

Ok, so we got:
A. It's dumb luck
B. They sent CIA over to Libya years ago, planting the seeds of revolution, planning the exact date of the start of trouble and making sure the space plan would be ready by the time the uprising would begin. First of course a test run of the thing and then 2nd launch and action! Great coordination.

Apply Occams Razor... Nah screw that, it's obviously gotta be B!

The real question (3, Funny)

aled (228417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697452)

yes, yes, that's interesting but what we really want to know is when it will become self aware and start killing humans?

Getting on the X37B has earned him a Pro title. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35698182)

Was I the only one who initially missed the S, and thought the headline was, "Amateur Spy On US Spy Plane" ?

Clearly that spy can't be considered a green-horn anymore; Getting a seat on an unmanned space flight is no small feat!

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