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Secret Space Plane Can’t Hide From Amateur Sleuths

Noah Shachtman, March 30, 2011

WIRED

The U.S. military likes to be a little sneaky with its robotic space planes. Unlike typical spacecraft, these vehicles can shift their orbits, frustrating the global network of skywatchers who keep track of just about
every man-made object rotating the planet.

But the sleuths have their tricks, too. They’ve tracked down the X-37B on its second secret mission. And the information the skywatchers are finding says quite a bit about the classified operations of this mysterious
spacecraft.

Click on Image to Enlarge

It took the amateur sleuths nearly a month to hunt down the first X-37B after it launched on its inaugural mission. That’s an eternity in sky-spotting time.

The second time around was easier. The U.S. space plane was discovered just four days after it blasted into orbit, earlier this month. Cape Town, South Africa’s Greg Roberts — “a pioneer in using telescopic video cameras to track spacecraft, chalking up exceptional results over the years,” according to Space.com — spotted this second secret spacecraft, just like he found the first.

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Phi Beta Iota: $80-90 billion a year for secret waste that provides “at best” 4% of what key decision makers need to know and nothing at all for everyone else.  The lunacy continues.

See Also:

Seven Answers–Robert Steele in Rome

2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth (Chapter for Counter-Terrorism Book Out of Denmark)

2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated

2009 Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Restrospective

2008: Creating a Smart Nation

Election 2008 Chapter: The Substance of Governance

2008 Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power–Army Strategy Conference of 2008 Notes, Summary, & Article

2008 Open Source Intelligence (Strategic)

2006 Forbes Blank Slate On Intelligence