U.S. military’s spacecraft X-37 ready for launch
The weather forecast however, is not much favorable for the launch, which could get delayed due to bad weather.
The spacecraft’s mission is classified
The mission details are classified, but the details about the spacecraft itself are not.
The spacecraft, which is 29 feet long and is 14 feet wide from wing to wing, resembles a mini space shuttle. As nobody knows about the details of the mission of the space craft, China and Russia have threatened to build similar spacecrafts.
Analysts have been speculating about the possible use of the spacecraft. There are speculations about it being a commando transport, an orbital spy or a bomber. It could also be used for repairing, launching or repositioning satellites in the lower orbit.
Eric Sterner from the Marshall Institute said, “You can put sensors in there, satellites in there. You could stick munitions in there, provided they exist.”
Air Force denied all speculations
The Air Force has denied all the speculations. They insisted that it is just a test vehicle. Deputy under Secretary for the Air Force, Richard McKinney had said during a press conference in December that the 5 ton craft just represents the, “capability for a reusable and more effective way to test technology in space and return it for examination.”
Mocking at the speculations of the analysts, McKinney said, “I applaud the ingenuity and innovation of some reports.”
The critics said that what the X-37 can do, can be done by a simpler spacecraft and that too at much less the cost. Even bringing back the experimental items can be done with the help of a capsule and a parachute.
The indulgence of Air Force with the idea of a self landing airplane style spacecraft makes it all the more intriguing.