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Space The Military United States

Amateurs Spy On US Spy Plane 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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Amateurs Spy On US Spy Plane

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  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @08:24PM (#35696644) Homepage

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

  • Orbital clues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @08:31PM (#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'

  • Metricate, damnit! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Saturday April 02, 2011 @08:45PM (#35696750) Homepage


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

  • by markov_chain ( 202465 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @09:32PM (#35696952) Homepage

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

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @10:03PM (#35697080)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2011 @10:30PM (#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.

  • by vitriolum ( 1280610 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @10:50PM (#35697298)
    Looks like the current orbit will take it right over Tripoli. []
  • by badboy_tw2002 ( 524611 ) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @11:41PM (#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?

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Sunday April 03, 2011 @02:06AM (#35697900) Homepage Journal

    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. [] 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? [] 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.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal