U.S. military launches top-secret robotic spacecraft

AFP reports: “A US Air Force unmanned spacecraft has blasted off from Florida, amid a veil of secrecy about its military mission.

The robotic space plane, or X-37B, lifted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas V rocket at 7:52 pm local time (2352 GMT), according to video released by the military.

‘The launch is a go,’ Air Force spokeswoman Major Angie Blair told AFP.

The lift-off appeared to proceed as planned without major problems, judging by the commentary in the Air Force webcast.

Resembling a miniature space shuttle, the plane is 8.9 meters (29 feet) long and has a wing-span of 4.5 meters.

The reusable space vehicle has been years in the making and the military has offered only vague explanations as to its purpose or role in the American military’s arsenal.

The vehicle is designed to ‘provide an ‘on-orbit laboratory’ test environment to prove new technology and components before those technologies are committed to operational satellite programs,’ the Air Force said in a recent release.

Officials said the X-37B would eventually return for a landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but did not say how long the inaugural mission would last.

‘In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back,’ Gary Payton, deputy undersecretary for Air Force space programs, told reporters in a conference call.

Payton said the plane could stay in space for up to nine months…” (Revelation 12:7; Luke 21:26. See also the next article.)

Is the X-37B the start of war in space?

News.com.au reports: “It’s one of the most anticipated space launches since the original manned space shuttle Columbia blasted off in 1982.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been sunk into it over nearly 20 years of research and development.

It’s the X-37B.

And unfortunately, that’s all we can tell you, because the unmanned spacecraft, which looks like a small shuttle, is one of the US military’s most tightly guarded secrets.

Built by Boeing’s Phantom Works division, the X-37 program was originally headed by NASA.

It was later turned over to the Pentagon’s research and development arm and then to a secretive Air Force unit.

And when it launches (local time) in a nine-minute window between 23:52 and 00:01 GMT (09:52 – 10:01 AEST), only a very select few in the US military will know what its ‘unspecified payload’ is.

We do know it can circle the Earth for more than nine months.

‘In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back,’ US Air Force spokesman Gary Payton told reporters.

The X37-B was originally planned to require the services of a space shuttle to launch, but now it’s a standalone craft.

It also lands like a space shuttle.

As usual with this type of thing, there is plenty of speculation about what the military will do with the X-37B.

Christian Science Monitor believes the X-37B rollout may signal the start of war in space, quoting arms control advocates who say it’s clearly the beginning of the ‘weaponisation of space’.

What information the US military has chosen to release only claims that the spacecraft will conduct ‘classified experiments’ while in orbit.

Mr. Payton said the Air Force’s main interest is to test the craft’s automated flight control system and learn about the cost of turning it around for launch again…”

EMP could leave ‘9 out of 10 Americans dead’

WorldNetDaily.com reports: “There is renewed alarm about the possibility of an EMP attack – electromagnetic pulse – on the United States because of Iran’s work on a multi-stage Space Launch Vehicle, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

And experts forecast if such an attack were a success, it effectively could throw the U.S. back into an age of agriculture.

‘Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,’ said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. ‘And that is exactly what I believe the Iranians are working towards.’…” (II Timothy 3:1; Luke 21:25.)