Colorado Springs is belly of space beast

X-37B unmanned spacecraft drone mini-space shuttleWhat’s that up in the sky? It’s a mini-me space shuttle with no windows, a former NASA project now entirely USAF. Amateur space object trackers have located the X-37B, the US military’s super secret unmanned space shuttle. What’s so secret about an unarmed, ostensibly inoffensive piece of space hardware? Good question. It depends on what military role you consider to be noncombatant.

Although I’d hope we could all agree by now that Predator Drone pilots wagging remote joysticks at stateside air force bases are plenty lethal if even illegal warfaring combatants. So what harm then, the little mini-me shuttle quietly going about its orbit?

During WWI, observers used to float above the trenches in balloons to direct artillery fire. The (unarmed!) bastards were despised more than the gunners themselves. The early airplane pilots earned the deference they’re shown to this day by the grunts on the ground because they would send the artillery spotters scrambling.

It’s thought that the X-37B is performing such reconnaissance tasks, perhaps with more flexibility and advanced technology than our standard satellites. But that wouldn’t entirely explain why this former NASA project is being kept out of the public eye.

Here’s obfuscating verbiage from a local war-in-space contractor, the Secure World Foundation based in Superior, Colorado.

“The program supports technology risk reduction, experimentation and operational concept development.”

The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office is more forthright about its function:

“development and fielding of select Defense Department combat support and weapons systems.”

“Mission Control” by the way is located at the Air Force Space Command’s Third Space Experimentation Squadron, based at Schriever Air Force Base, right here.

A worrisome aspect about the X-37B is the secrecy, in light of the fact that its path can be charted by amateurs, if obviously also adversaries. The trajectory of the rocket which launched the vehicle into orbit, its spent hull directed now into an orbit around the sun, is also considered top-secret.

When Peace in Space activists are protesting the Space Symposium at the Broadmoor every year, this is what we are angry about: doublespeak pretending to be about space exploration. What will putting arms in space mean but more arms in space, quickly, adversaries rushing to grab a beachhead before the US is in the position to prevent it?

The X-37B is nothing but an near-space preditor drone, armed not with guns but the means to deploy space mines equipped with guns. If serving as the eyes and ears for targeting weapons isn’t immoral enough.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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