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It's Baaack! XB-37B Finally Lands

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ready-for-a-nice-classified-nap dept.

Space 123

ColdWetDog writes "The US Air Force / DARPA 'baby shuttle,' the Boeing-built XB-37B has just landed after 469 days in orbit. No official explanation of why controllers kept the mission going past the original duration of 270 days other than 'because we could.' I, for one, welcome our long duration, unmanned orbital overlords."

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Of course you welcome it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40344873)

After all, you pay for it, you dimwit

overlords (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345033)

Dumb overused joke, and it didn't even apply. Don't try so hard.

Re:Of course you welcome it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345089)

469 days? Huh huh, it says 69. I did that to yo mama!

maybe you can convince her to wash down there once in a while. she's gettin this funky thick yellow discharge that tastes like moldy tuna.

Endless war for the profit of a few. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347855)

You are not allowed to know how much you paid, or why.

Endless war, because the Bush and Cheney families, and many others from the 1%, want to make more easy money.

Coincidental timing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40344877)

Same day the Chinese launch their most ambitious manned mission thusfar? Mmmkay.

Re:Coincidental timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345515)

Don't you mean "womanned" mission?

Does there have to be an explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40344989)

"Hey, that mars rover still works, can we keep him running?"

"No. Mission time is over, hit the self destruct button, or i will!"

Re:Does there have to be an explanation? (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345359)

Re:Does there have to be an explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346205)

Aww...so cute... 8-)

Re:Does there have to be an explanation? (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347899)

damn blurry monitor ...

Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese launch (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345049)

Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese space launch. It would provide a good evaluation of what Chinese missiles can do.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345061)

Or, they brought it down because the Chinese thought they might swing by to look at the XB-37B while they were up there.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345253)

Your thinking that the Chinese might learn something they don't already know?
No, the Chinese have their own plans for space, I suspect they could care less what anyone else is doing. I mean, they may be running for a couple of important points - the polar regions of the Moon, or something - but I'm guessing that, if things go well, the focus of Chinese expansion is going to be on leaving Earth's gravity well.

On another note, I noticed that all the North American news agencies are calling the Chinese female, going into space, an "astronaut". Isn't the correct term "taikonaut"?

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345297)

You've been watching too much Firefly.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346051)

I'd rather watch the Summer Glau. :-)

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347005)

There is no such thing as "too much Firefly".

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40349889)

Not since they cancelled it.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345423)

We should start a kickstarter to bribe the chinese to plant a chinese flag where ours was, just so congress will get all fired up and get our space program going again.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347935)

Actually if they just went to the moon, dropped a flag larger than ours, then stated how small shriveled American Penis no longer is bigger than Chinese Space Penis I'm pretty sure that would spur America on to get back into space as rapidly as possible. And if not, it would at least make for a hilarious yearly viewing of the Chinese press release for it where it's making insulting comments about America's size and thus firing up national penis envy (the fastest way to get financing for stuff behind child porn, illegal substances, and whatever is 'religious issue of the week.')

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348203)

Wait, we went to the moon? I thought that was a hoax. (waits to duck flying beer cans)

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40349909)

Why do you think Congress would make the effort, when they could just ban kickstarter?

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40350795)

Banning kickstarter after the damage is done. You can read congressmen minds, can't you?

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345437)

On another note, I noticed that all the North American news agencies are calling the Chinese female, going into space, an "astronaut". Isn't the correct term "taikonaut"?

No. "Taikonaut" is a term some western media outlet came up with to sound cool. The Chinese government themselves refer to them as "astronauts" in their own English press releases.

Re:"Naut"sexes. (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348525)

Surely the females are, rightly, termed asstronauts, it's the males that are wrongly named......they should be Dickonauts! No!....OK never mind.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345421)

Since one of the supposed roles of the XB-37B is repositioning satellites I would have to assume that it has the ability to change it's own orbit.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345485)

No quite, it actually moves the earth with special space warping technology. If that's not true, why hasn't the Air Force denied it?

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346519)

No quite, it actually moves the earth with special space warping technology. If that's not true, why hasn't the Air Force denied it?

That wasn't the XB-37B. That was my dick.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347985)

Not unless it had a big honking fuel tank that nobody saw. Changing orbit takes a huge amount of energy.

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348001)

Could have been "out of gas"...

Re:Possibly they wanted to observe the Chinese lau (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40349453)

I think it's a lot simpler than that. Stuff in space that can do stuff is rare and expensive so you don't remove it when it's up there. If it doesn't "have to" come down, it won't until the reasons to land exceed the reasons not to. Experimental devices often are used for actual useful work while being tested if they're tested long enough anyway.

But the US can't get into space?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345071)

So much for the lie that the US doesn't have a way to get to the space station.

man in space? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345103)

uhh, you do realize that unmanned generally means that it doesn't havel ife support systems. We can get shit to the space station; we demonstrated that with the dragon capsule. However, we still don't have a way to get a man in space.

Re:man in space? (5, Funny)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345131)

uhh, you do realize that unmanned generally means that it doesn't havel ife support systems. We can get shit to the space station; we demonstrated that with the dragon capsule. However, we still don't have a way to get a man in space.

We could cryogenically freeze the astronauts and send them up as popsicles. Then, once we invent equipment to defreeze them, we can send that up and thaw them out. Problem solved. With enough creativity, nearly anything is possible.

Re:man in space? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345331)

Yeah, that might be a way... if it even existed. But if we're going with imaginary tech, why not simply beam them to the ISS?

Re:man in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345947)

It's not imaginary. Walt Disney and Steve Jobs have been frozen.

Re:man in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40348879)

spooning each other no less

Re:man in space? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348905)

Walt Disney and Steve Jobs are dead. You want to thaw out corpses and reanimate them in space?!? That's how the zombie apocalypse will start.

Super green (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345431)

We could cryogenically freeze the astronauts and send them up as popsicles.

CORBIN...DALLAS!!!!

Re:Super green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345457)

Negative! I am a meat popsicle.

Re:Super green (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348215)

Holly sugarsmax I was just about to pop the same line. Hehehehe. SMOOOKE YOUUUUUU!! Wrong answer.

Re:man in space? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345489)

Frozen Spam in a can!

Re:man in space? (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346307)

uhh, you do realize that unmanned generally means that it doesn't havel ife support systems. We can get shit to the space station; we demonstrated that with the dragon capsule. However, we still don't have a way to get a man in space.

We could cryogenically freeze the astronauts and send them up as popsicles. Then, once we invent equipment to defreeze them, we can send that up and thaw them out. Problem solved. With enough creativity, nearly anything is possible.

Also it takes a while to die from exposure to the vacuum of space so technically we could also just get them up there REALLY quickly and hope for the best.

Re:man in space? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347567)

That approach is unrealistic. Here's why:

We need someone to operate the defreezing equipment. That means we need to send more people up. Since the procedure for diong that is to freeze them, send them up and then send someone after them to defreeze them that's what we do. Of course that someone will be frozen, which means we need someone to defreeze them. After enough iterations of this the entire population of Earth will be frozen in space and no one will be able to defreeze them.

I think the best approach to solve this issue would be to raise the ambient temperature of space so they thaw out on their own. That would also save us the cost of the defreezing equipment.

Re:man in space? (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348465)

More seriously, if you really, really wanted to get somebody to the ISS on the cheap, could you not just stuff a guy in a space suit with a jumbo oxygen tank into the cargo bay of the Dragon capsule?

Re:man in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345397)

I think the problem is getting shit FROM the space station.

Re:man in space? (2)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346987)

Actually, the Dragon capsule that just docked with ISS is the first cargo vehicle also designed to take things back from the station.

Re:man in space? (3, Interesting)

Bevilr (1258638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345463)

While the craft itself operates unmanned, it could be easily adapted for human cargo in a not so ridiculous way. In fact, 2 seconds of searching revealed the plan to used a modified (scaled up) version of this design to transport astronauts into space. http://www.space.com/13230-secretive-37b-space-plane-future-astronauts.html [space.com]

Re:man in space? (1)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345685)

165-180% scaling of the size is a pretty material difference - particularly when considering 3-dimensions making for 4.5-6x increase in volume.

The current vehicle has a footprint that is 15% the size of an F-22 Raptor (while the FUTURE scaled up version is roughly the same size) and a payload capacity of 7ft by 4ft .... that is not enough to carry life-support system let alone the systems and 1 or more human passengers

Re:man in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346081)

uhh, you do realize that unmanned generally means that it doesn't havel ife support systems. We can get shit to the space station; we demonstrated that with the dragon capsule.

You do realize the Dragon capsule was designed to be man-rated.

Obviously it's not certified yet, but I'm sure Musk isn't giving up.

Re:But the US can't get into space?? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345275)

Allow me to assure you that the United States military does not have any manned spaceflight capability. At all. Whatsoever. Period. The end. So you'll stop asking about it if you know what's good for you. In addition rumors of a secret base in the asteroid belt are simply that. Wild, baseless rumors. Nothing to see here citizen. Move along.

Re:But the US can't get into space?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346125)

And definitely no moon base, nor a ultra-classified Mars mission, nor strategic weapons around the gravitational zones between planets. Banish such thoughts. For your own good. Especially since Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom is on USA!

Re:But the US can't get into space?? (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348369)

You do realize that nothing is so crazy that no one on that internet will believe it.

Re:But the US can't get into space?? (1)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345625)

In a pinch maybe yes ... but this is 1/2 size unmanned version of the non-yet-existent X-37C that was designed to fit in the cargo bay of the Shuttle

You know, like a 1/2 size version of bicycle designed to fit in your car's trunk might get you to work in a pinch ... not ideal and not even practical, but theoretically possible.

The future of spaceflight is robotic (5, Insightful)

warewolfsmith (196722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345265)

Lets face it, it's just too expensive to keep puny humans alive in orbit, the advent of highly advanced space faring robotics will see the end of long endurance human spaceflight.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345355)

It does not really cost that much. More is spend on pets than human space exploration.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345451)

It *does* really cost that much. Both in energy (sustaining human life is much more costly, energy-wise, than simply keeping circuits working), and in weight - when you ship people off into space, you have to feed them, water them, house them, carry oxygen for them, dispose of their waste, give them room to live, work, exercise... all of that material you have to ship off into space takes up space, adds additional weight to haul out of Earth's gravity well, and fundamentally limits the distance and duration of any mission you have planned.

We have space probes launched *decades* ago that are still traveling through space and sending back data. What's the useful life of the ISS again?

And frankly, I get more enjoyment and benefit out of my pet than I do out of manned space travel, so fuck your manned space dreams. You can use my tax money to send robotic probes and like it, or you can have nothing. How about that?

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347245)

We have space probes launched *decades* ago that are still traveling through space and sending back data. What's the useful life of the ISS again?

And frankly, I get more enjoyment and benefit out of my pet than I do out of manned space travel, so fuck your manned space dreams. You can use my tax money to send robotic probes and like it, or you can have nothing. How about that?

the ISS has been operational and occupied for more than a decade now.
And i don't think you have much of a choice on how your tax dollars get spent at a federal level...

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347999)

Do you know what the "I" in ISS stands for? Can you guess why it wasn't a US only mission?

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345377)

Oh... I'm so sorry. You should have posted that AC, because now the space nutters are going to have a field day with down-modding you.

You're right. But that doesn't change the fact that an obnoxiously loud contingent here on Slashdot watched Star Trek as children, and really, truly believe that they're going to get to bang vaguely ethnic looking space girls with pale green skin and silver hair on Proxima Centauri IV, just like Kirk did.

In reality, the life we're likely to encounter is probably slime molds and fungus, but hey... I'm sure some of them have that fetish, too.

To the space nutters: get over it. There is nothing to justify the massive expenditure of manned space exploration. The distances are too great, the energy costs are too high, and the performance characteristics required to keep a human alive there are too stringent to create any manned mission that will do anything more than go up, float around in orbit for a bit, and then come back down. Exploration will be done by unmanned robotic vehicles. You want to go out there? Go study physics and find a way to generate infinite energy for zero cost, and then find a way to bend space-time so that we can travel nearly instantly from one point to another. Can't do that? Don't expect to have a manned space program.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345507)

We've always boldly gone where no one has gone before, for drugs, for food, for fun, for profit. We're not likely to stop. We'll try not to warp on your lawn, though.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346841)

The last time we actually went where non-one has gone before was during an Ice Age. How, exactly, is it an imperative?

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346237)

That's basically what they told Christophorus Columbus and see what has come out of it...

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (2)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346913)

I think what they told him was that the earth was 40000km in diameter whilst he insisted that it was considerably smaller - and he was comprehensively proven wrong, albeit he never admitted it. is that what you are referring to?

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

waimate (147056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347649)

I think they're talking about how he discovered Cuba

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348673)

Except he didn't discover Cuba.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346349)

But that doesn't change the fact that an obnoxiously loud contingent here on Slashdot watched Star Trek as children, and really, truly believe that they're going to get to bang vaguely ethnic looking space girls with pale green skin and silver hair on Proxima Centauri IV, just like Kirk did..

Nah, I just wanna go to space cus' I'm tired of Earth, it's full of idiots.

Also cus' it's cool, if some guy with verifiable credentials came up to me and said "Wanna go to space? It's a one-way trip and you might die on-launch or shortly after" I'd say "yes" in a heartbeat.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345461)

Lets face it, it's just too expensive to keep puny humans alive in orbit, the advent of highly advanced space faring robotics will see the end of long endurance human spaceflight.

20 years ago, I was all rah-rah for human spaceflight. Then I started reading more speculations of technological singularities and the integration of man and machine. I now see two futures as much more likely than manned spaceflight with life support systems as traditionally conceived.

If wacky AI prophets like Kurzweil are right, the human race that expands to the stars and robotic unmanned exploration might be one and the same. If humans transcend biology, there is no longer a need for packing oxygen, radiation shielding and water into a spacecraft.

Another possibility, proposed by Vernor Vinge in Marooned in Realtime [amazon.com] is that an intelligent race like ours might simply move into a virtual reality, populating and exploring that inner world of infinite possibilities instead of the cold, hard reality of outer space. Yeah, yeah, there's the possibilities of a catastrophic asteroid strike etc., but the human face is not especially adept at planning for the very longterm future, and simply moving towards the core of the planet might prove an attractive solution for the shorter term.

Incidentally, the AC who also responded to you is a well-known troll (easily distinguished by his use of the term "space nutter"). While I agree with him that manned space exploration is not a likely future, his purpose here is more to mock and tear down than to contribute to meaningful discussion. Avoid his trap.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345493)

I'm glad to hear I'm well known. Sorry friend, but if you're behaving like a space nutter, I call it like I see it. Every time this type of article pops up, a bunch of naive idealists crowd in to tell us how stupid it is that we're not spending multiples of our GNP to send a handful of people to another planet to establish a colony, or mine iron ore from an asteroid, or some other foolishness that they claim (without justification) is "absolutely indispensable" to humanity's future.

They take great joy in shouting down anybody who puts forth the rational (and quite likely) point that "manned space travel" is a dream, and barring a fundamental revolution in physics and our understanding of the universe, will always remain a dream. You want to explore the stars? Start launching robotic probes, because that's the only way any of us will ever learn what it's like in another solar system. And once those probes are launched, turn your vast intellect towards solving actual problems in the here and now on earth, because this is the only place we're gonna get.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346399)

Well fact of the matter is, The Earth is by the very definition of the word "planet" a limited resource. Even if we get a thousand times better at conserving resources and all that eventually we are going to use up all the resources on Earth and then we're gonna need to go to space, if nothing else with robots.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346521)

Do tell, how do we "use up a resource". When we build something and then no logner need it, do the atoms just disapear? No you dubmass, you can't "use up a resource", atoms are atoms, with high enough technology, take things apart on an atomic level, and build whatever you want.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347221)

You also need plenty of energy to take things apart and build things on an atomic level, actually it requires so much energy that the classic alchemic grail of modifying eg. lead to gold (which is possible) is not even worth it.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347883)

Perpetual motion is forbidden by the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348331)

Except for Lisa Simpson.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347321)

More in-depth discussion on why space colonization isn't actually feasible from a different AC: "Why Not Space?" from Do The Math blog [ucsd.edu] and "The High Frontier, Redux" by Charlie Stross [antipope.org] (he also has other blog articles on that).

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40349119)

no, usually we complain when the budget of nasa is around 4 days in iraq, we arent asking for a majority of funding, just a reasonable amount in relation to the other bullshit we waste money on.

Re:The future of spaceflight is robotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347903)

Human beings are never going to transcend biology when any effort to change that biology is met with bans and lawsuits. The fact is, these laws and bans only affect those who either must obey them or choose to obey. Different countries, or companies will find that it suits their needs to do the work anyway. And those will be the people who make the path to the future. Not the ones who deny and forbid.

The unchanging human of now is never going to reach space or the future. We have to reinvent who we are and stop clinging to this desire for no change ever under any circumstances. We must find ways to harden our bodies against radiation, lower the need for food and water, lower our vulnerability to injury and illness. These are not simple changes but instead changes that require redoing DNA and seeing what happens. The end result will be a living entity who is descended from humans but is possibly not human as we know it.

But what of equality and basic human rights? They are in our minds only. We are already not all created equal, we are already not all the same, and in the future it will become more even brutally apparent that some will advance and some will not.

Esxplanation (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345319)

"No official explanation of why controllers kept the mission going past the original duration of 270 days"

No official explanation, but anonymous sources on the inside report that spacecraft's internal clock was off by 199 days. Aliens could not have been reached for comments.

Re:Esxplanation (1)

briniel (916290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346319)

"No official explanation of why controllers kept the mission going past the original duration of 270 days"

9 month minimum mission. Making babies in space and it took a few tries?

Obama's got his dick firmly in your ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345375)

He has extended and expanded the patriot act. He has civilian drones (and I'm not talking about his supporters). He has a spy shuttle peering in your windows. He has just gutted the middle class by bringing cheap labor here that normally would be outsourced. And if anything goes really wrong the people who bought him off already have Romney in their back pocket too.
 
Keep up the two party fucktardary, asshats. It's like cows marching to the slaughter house.

Re:Obama's got his dick firmly in your ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40347619)

Eventually the people will revolt and we'll do the same thing over again!

Why didnt they just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345411)

Make something up. Claim it is for weather monitoring and no one would even have given it a second thought

Timetravel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345465)

They are experimenting with timetravel. It took 469 days to travel backwards 270 days. In other words, they now know how the presidential elections will turn out.

Re:Timetravel (1, Redundant)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345643)

In other words, they now know how the presidential elections will turn out.

Lemme guess, the Goldman-Sachs candidate is going to win?

Re:Timetravel (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40348339)

Can 2 candidates win at the same time?

Small reusable manned craft (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345525)

Although it's been proposed many times, nobody has ever put up a small, reusable manned spacecraft. The USAF had the DynaSoar program in the 1960s, but that was cancelled. Virgin Galactic is making noises about a small orbital spaceplane. Nothing like that has ever flown, but there's no fundamental obstacle.

The near future of earth orbit space may be Space-X's Falcon Heavy for freight, something from Virgin Galactic for humans, and robotic vehicles for military tasks.

Re:Small reusable manned craft (3, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345769)

Look up the X-37C

Re:Small reusable manned craft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346093)

Yeah--it's basically a smaller shuttle designed to carry astronauts/pilots. From Wired [wired.com] :

"At a conference in California last week, Boeing program manager Art Grantz unveiled plans for an 'X-37C' that would be nearly twice as long as the current B-model, with a commensurate boost in payload. A pressurized cabin would have space for five seated astronauts plus one on a stretcher — presumably for medical evacuations from the International Space Station (ISS). The C-model space plane could be robotic like its predecessor, or piloted by one of the astronauts.

'Once qualified for human flight, these vehicles could transport a mix of astronauts and cargo to the ISS and offer a much gentler return to a runway landing for the space tourism industry,' Grantz said, positioning the X-37C as a potential rival to Space Ship Two and other near-orbital vehicles being developed by a host of ambitious start-ups."

Also more info at Space Safety Magazine [spacesafetymagazine.com] .

The X-37C makes me want to shout something like "The space shuttle is dead! Long live the space shuttle!"

The "death of manned US space flight" is proving to be anything but--probably quite the opposite.

Re:Small reusable manned craft (1)

waimate (147056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40347149)

From the Wired article: "Capsules, being more streamlined, must shed just 5 percent as much energy as a winged transport while re-entering the atmosphere. That makes them safer."

Arrant nonsense on all counts. But other than that, quite informative.

Re:Small reusable manned craft (1)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40349077)

They better hurry because within a very short time low Earth orbit is going to be a pretty dangerous place. Once things start running into one another the bits and pieces will multiply, I don't know whether it's geometrically or exponentially, okay, it's got to be astronomically, but there's a hell of a lot of shit out there that is not under anyone's control.

Kerbal Space Program (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345817)

I've been addicted to building and launching my own multi-stage rockets into orbit (and beyond) in a Minecraft-esque (at least in business model) vidja game called Kerbal Space Program. They have an older version on their site that you can download for free so if you're interested Google it.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345943)

I was depressed when they released a version that made Jebedia Kermin not guaranteed to be in the flight crew. No matter how bad things got, Jebediah Kermin: Thrillmaster rocked the fuck out and faced oblivion with a grin.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346567)

That was a sad day for kerbals everywhere.

WTF is an XB-37 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346361)

Seriously, is re designating as a bomber some attempt at a conspiracy theory by OP or just cluelessness?

welcome? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346365)

So you're one of them than?
I assuredly don't welcome them or you.

It's looking for whales (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346419)

To bring to its homeworld.

An Explanation (1)

McGruber (1417641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346659)

No official explanation of why controllers kept the mission going past the original duration of 270 days other than 'because we could.'

DARPA needed the extra time to ensure that the XB-37B would not get fooled by the Iranians' GPS spoofing. [slashdot.org]

Re:An Explanation (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346967)

Yeah, and drone missions over Iran continued unabated after the RQ-160 loss, why, then? Could it be that Iran didn't "spoof" anything, and it just made for a good propaganda win?

(Hint: no, we didn't "quick patch" the "problem" — the aircraft simply malfunctioned and crashed in Iran. And you're buying Iranian propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Congratulations.)

Re:An Explanation (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40349141)

kinda funny iran got one of our drones, and soon followed a worm in their systems... just sayin, trojan horse? (if true oh the irony)

Re:An Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40350723)

All GPS broadcasts 2 codes:
"The original GPS design contains two ranging codes [wikipedia.org] : the Coarse/Acquisition (C/A) code, which is freely available to the public, and the restricted Precision (P) code, usually reserved for military applications."
The military P code is encrypted and the US protects it heavily. Sure the Iranians may have cracked it, but the US can and does change the key regularly. For Iran to have spoofed the Military signal they'd have to be much more advanced than, well, the US is. Impossible? No. Unlikely? very.

Sounds sufficient to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40349437)

Why would they need anymore reason than 'because we could'? Of all places, Slashdot should be full of people who would understand...

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