Category Archives: Military

A multinational group wants you to join ‘Asgardia’ — the first outer-space nation with a mission to defend Earth

asgardia space station mission earth protection James Vaughan

 

A new country called Asgardia, named after Norse mythology’s city in the skies, could be the first nation ever created in space. The hope is to embark on a mission to mine asteroids and defend Earth from dangerous meteorites, space debris, and other threats.

That is, if everything goes according to an uncertain, open-ended, and audacious plan put forth by its founders.

The group behind the Asgardia project includes space experts based out of Canada, Romania, Russia, and the United States, and they announced their sovereign ambitions from a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.

Their core concept is to launch a robotic satellite within the next 18 months (60 years after Russia launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite), then eventually follow up with a permanent space station “where people can live, work, and have their own rules and regulations,” one founding member told Business Insider.

The hope? To “democratize space,” they say.

Ultimately, the organizers envision Asgardians building “a state-of-the-art protective shield for all humankind from cosmic manmade and natural threats to life on earth such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroid collisions,” according to an emailed press release.

“We must leave [Earth] because it’s very much in the nature of humanity,” Ram Jakhu, the director of McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and an Asgardia project founding member, told Business Insider in a phone interview before Wednesday’s press conference.

“Humanity left Africa and covered the whole globe. The resources of Earth will be depleted,” he said. “Third, I would say, we have a wish to go where nobody has gone before.”

Who is behind Asgardia?

Timothy Wild, a spokesperson for the consortium, would not disclose which researchers or other experts are currently aligned with the project, nor how many, during our call.

But we count at least five so far, according to materials shared by the publicity company that Wild works for:

  • Igor Ashurbeyli — founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Russia and the new chairman of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) “science of space” committee
  • David Alexander — director of Rice University’s Space Institute
  • Ram Jakhu — director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University
  • Joseph N. Pelton — director of the Space and Advanced Communications Research Institute (SACRI) at George Washington University
  • Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu — a Romanian cosmonaut

Wild noted that the project is in its “early stages” and is hoping the initial publicity will attract engineers, scientists, and other talent.

“What we’re doing now is a call to arms, so we want to widen the net,” he said.

In addition to experts, Asgardia is calling on you to join its ranks.

“[T]he site will allow the first 100,000 people to register to become citizens of Asgardia alongside their nationality on [E]arth,” the release stated.

Asgardia is also crowd-sourcing its flag, insignia, and even national anthem.

How is it funded?

Wild would not disclose the organization’s current funding level, but claimed Ashurbeyli had put forth a substantial amount of money to get the Asgardia project going.

“We’re absolutely confident the satellite will launch within 18 months,” Wild said. “But in terms of absolute numbers [of money], we’re not there yet.” Wild would also not disclose how Asgardia’s founders plan to acquire cash to fund its future efforts.

It will likely need tens of millions of dollars to start out, and later perhaps billions to sustain itself.

Substantial, fist-size satellites called nanosats can be built and launched for roughly millions of dollars. But sending up larger objects requires more powerful and expensive launchers.

Right now, one of the cheapest rides into orbit a couple of hundred miles above Earth is a Falcon 9 rocket, and SpaceX charges roughly $60 to $65 million for the whole ride (some companies will share payload space and split the cost).

Meanwhile, it took 18 nations and about $100 billion to build and operate the International Space Station (ISS).

Can you actually form a new nation in space?

asgardia space nation website logo An image of Asgardia’s symbol featured on the supposed nation’s website. Asgardia.space

In an emailed press release, Ashurbeyli said that “Asgardia is a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations — with all the attributes this status entails.”

However, according to current international space law, the country that launches an object into space is responsible for it, including any damage it causes to denizens of Earth.

“The project is creating a new framework for ownership and nationhood in space, which will adapt current outer space laws governing responsibility, private ownership and enterprise so they are fit for purpose in the new era of space exploration,” the organization said in its emailed release. “By creating a new Space Nation, private enterprise, innovation and the further development of space technology to support humanity will flourish free from the tight restrictions of state control that currently exist.”

How would that be different from the ISS?

“The ISS is a joint venture. There’s no entity called ‘ISS,'” Jakhu said. “It’s just one facility, parts of which are controlled by different nations. It’s more or less a condo.”

And when asked about the laws behind forging a country on a yet-to-be-launched space station, Jakhu acknowledged the challenge, but he seemed optimistic.

“We have not seen any nation attempt this before. So this will be a first,” he said. “We’ll start small and eventually people will be going there, and working, and having their own rules and regulations … This facility will become an independent nation.”

Business Insider contacted the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) for clarification on whether or not current space laws would permit a new country to declare itself in space — from the ground, with an uncrewed satellite, or even with people aboard a space station. We also asked the organization how (if it’s not yet permitted) a new nation like Asgardia might need to change space law to form itself.

UNOOSA representatives did not immediately respond to our query.

How will Asgardia get built?

permanent space colony 1 Future Human Evolution

While painting an ambitious vision of a peaceful future in space, Asgardia is curiously quiet on the specifics.

Business Insider pressed its representatives for details about timelines, funding, satellite and space station designs, launch vehicles, personnel, and more, but Asgardia declined to provide that information.

“At this point we’re trying not to give too much technical detail away,” Wild said. “We have some ideas, but it’s not at the level of understanding to put into the public domain … [W]e’re taking a measured approach. We’re explaining what we want to do now and not jumping the gun on too many details.”

Jakhu and Asgardia’s organizers expect to draw plenty of critics, including analogies to the fizzling Mars One project — an effort that continues to claim it will set down astronauts that it has recruited on the red planet, though multiple investigations suggest it lacks the funding, manpower, and expertise to pull off the feat.

However, Jakhu and Wild pointed out that trying to form the first space nation a couple hundred miles above Earth is a lot different than trying to colonize Mars, as Elon Musk of SpaceX and Mars One intend.

“I’m sure people will ridicule [Asgardia], but I’m not worried. Anyone who tries out-of-the-box things is initially ridiculed,” Jakhu said. “Everything that’s amazing starts with a crazy idea. After awhile science fiction becomes science fact, and this is an idea which is just being initiated.

Asked if Jakhu would live in Asgardia, he responded, “why not?”

“I think it’d be less risky than going to Mars,” he said. “And you could more easily come back to Earth if you didn’t like it.”

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Bob Dylan called them the ‘Masters of War’, while US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously urged Americans to “guard against” the growing power of the “military-industrial complex.”

Arms firms from around the world will descend on East London next week for the 2015 Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition. RT takes a look at this year’s big vendors peddling their wares.

Bob Dylan called them the ‘Masters of War’, while US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously urged Americans to “guard against” the growing power of the “military-industrial complex.”

In the 21st century, manufacturing death is still a thriving business. With the world’s biggest arms fair taking place in London next week, dozens of weapons companies will descend on the capital to sell their latest tools of destruction.

Global wars have become far more deadly in recent years, despite the overall number of conflicts falling. Wars being fought in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq are extremely violent partly due to the proliferation of increasingly destructive guns, tanks, fighter jets and drones.

RT takes a closer look at this year’s merchants profiting from war.

Lockheed Martin

With net sales for 2014 totaling $45.6 billion, US-based Lockheed Martin is the largest arms company in the world. Lockheed received $22 billion in contracts from the US Department of Defense alone in 2014, roughly 9 percent of all contracts awarded by the Pentagon.

Lockheed has weathered several high profile scandals since its founding in 1912. The company was caught bribing Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in 1976, a revelation which forced his resignation. Last month the company paid $4.7 million to the Justice Department to settle charges it won a lucrative contract by paying a former US Representative-turned-lobbyist with taxpayer funds.

BAE Systems

The third largest arms producer in the world, BAE Systems is a FTSE 100 company which posted a £16.6 billion (US$25.6 billion) turnover in 2014 and a £0.75 billion profit. The UK-based firm has military customers in over 100 countries.

BAE came into existence when British Aerospace merged with Marconi Electronic Systems in 1999. The company manufacturers everything from fighter jets to aircraft carriers and has recently shifted its focus to cyber security.

BAE’s customers include the militaries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt – three countries known for their authoritarian regimes and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, aggressive foreign policy.

Finmeccanica

Few people have heard of Finmeccanica, yet the firm is the ninth biggest arms company in the world. Part-owned by the Italian state (30 percent), Finmeccanica had a turnover of €15.62 billion (£11.37 billion) in 2014 and a profit of €20 million (£14.57 million). Despite its Italian roots, Finmeccanica is well established in the UK having acquired Westland Helicopters.

In April, Italian police announced they are investigating the firm for suspected corruption in the sale of helicopters to Algeria. An Italian court handed senior Finmeccanica employee Giuseppe Orsi a two-year suspended sentence for false bookkeeping last year, but acquitted him of bribery charges.

Chemring

This UK-based company is ranked 68th in the top 100 arms producing firms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Chemring is listed on the London Stock Exchange and had a turnover of £474 million in 2014 and a profit of £54.9 million.

Although it’s not as big a player as BAE, Chemring is still a major producer of munitions, counter-IED systems and crowd control products, such as smoke grenades. During the Arab Spring, plastic bullets and gas grenades made by Chemring were used against protestors by Kuwaiti and Egyptian security forces. They also arm Predator and Reaper drones, used by the CIA in controversial assassinations.

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INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS FM 3-39.40

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION

WHICH IS AVAILABLE VIA THE INTERNET.  “PUBLIC INTELLIGENCE” PDF EXPLAINS IN DETAIL WHAT THE ACCOMPANYING VIDEO SEEKS TO INFORM US ABOUT.  THE PDF IS A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC CHANCE.

 

https://info.publicintelligence.net/USArmy-InternmentResettlement.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zzQ0q5f5l8

44 Percent of Texans Think U.S. Military Might Be Coming to Impose Martial Law

Joint Bulgarian US military training

The multistate training operation Jade Helm 15 will begin next month, and plenty of Texans still seem to think that this is all an elaborate ruse and the federal government is about to take over Texas — a state that is already part of a larger country that the federal government oversees. It wasn’t clear how many people thought that the U.S. military was building tunnels under abandoned Walmarts FEMA camps. Thanks to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, we now know that the answer is: “More than a few!”

Forty-four percent of Texas voters — including 31 percent of Democrats — think that it is very or somewhat likely that the federal government is sending troops to Texas and other states so it can impose martial law; 43 percent think it is likely that the federal government just wants to take their guns. 

Strangely enough, slightly fewer Texan voters thought that it was a good idea that Governor Greg Abbott sent the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises, saying that it is “important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties will not be infringed.” Thirty-nine percent of registered voters — and 85 percent of tea party Republicans — supported this move, while 32 percent had no opinion whatsoever. Although the difference between the number of people who think the government is coming to turn Texas into a socialist wasteland and those who think it is a good idea to monitor the military is within the margin of error, there’s always the possibility that a very small number of Texans think the government is coming to impose martial law and are ready to submit and declare allegiance, federalism be damned. 

If these people exist, we assume they might be friends with the people who sent aluminum-foil hat kits to Greg Abbott’s office instead of just filing a letter to complain about the Texas State Guard being deployed. 

The Texas Tribune

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May 24th Jade Helm update

This May 24th Jade Helm update from Dave Hodges at thecommonsenseshow.com is absolutely riveting. I am only including excerpts of Dave’s article, the actual email from the Lt General follows.
The Lt. General Speaks Out
On the morning of May 23rd, I was sent an email communication from a man claiming to be a recently retired Lt. General who was forced to retire in an Obama purge of military leadership in which the President has fired 270 command military leaders. He provided me with identifying clues so that I could verify his identity which I subsequently did. As a quality control check, I ran the same information by my two primary military sources. Both sources independently told me that they do indeed know both the identity of this individual and his former role and function in the military.
Lessons Learned
Back in November of 2012, when I broke the news about the attempted soft military coup in regard to the Benghazi story, I hesitated to publish my information for 10 days because I did not have outside collaboration for what I was being told. I almost lost my source as a result of my hesitation. As it turned out in this November 3, 2012 article, I was three months ahead of many outlets because the source was so controversial that many backed away from this topic. However, my information about the soft coup connected with the attempted rescue of Ambassador Stevens has proven to be accurate. I will not make the same mistake did with the Ambassador Stevens story. The Lt. General’s information is important and time sensitive. With his identity validated and confirmed, this is his message about the present national crisis connected to Jade Helm.
Revelations From the Lt. General
In 2012 this Lt. General was part of a Pentagon study which studied how many military personnel would side with the government and how many could be counted upon to fire upon American citizens when ordered to do so. The 2012 Pentagon study reached the following conclusions:
Approximately 60% of active duty Army personal will side with the American people.
Eighty percent of the National Guard will not fire upon American citizens when, as the Lt. General said, “(not if Sir) but when the order is given to openly enslave the American people under Martial Law”.
Somewhere around 90% the Marines will side with the American people.
The Navy as a whole will stay out of the fight choosing to be the last line of defense against foreign intervention should the country fall into civil war. (Editor’s Note: Please refer to my previous reference to the fact that the Navy has engaged in five years of war games in order to keep most of its ships out to sea).
It is widely believed that in excess of 75% of the Air Force will side withtheestablishment.
Sir,
After reading your recent article “America’s Survival Depends on Stopping Jade Helm” on May 22nd, I felt compelled to write you. I was recently forced into retirement by President Obama along with 270 other flag officers after a distinguished career beginning on my 17th birthday when I enlisted in the Army.
I am not angry about being forced out (at least anymore) because it gave me the time to think about what is about to happen to America and what I could, would and should do.
In 2012 I was part of a Pentagon study which estimated that roughly 60% of active duty Army personal will side with the American people as will 80% of the National Guard when (not if Sir) the order is given to openly enslave the American people under Martial Law. Somewhere around 90% the Marines will side with the American people, the Navy as a whole will stay out of the fight choosing to be the last line of defense against foreign intervention. It is widely believed that in excess of 75% of the Air Force will side with government.
There are many within the active military both officers and senior NCO’s who see what is happening and what is coming. Many more than you can possibly imagine will not follow an unconstitutional order to move against the American people, nor will they allow foreign troops to openly attack American citizens. This would be the start of a fight these foreign forces could not possibly win as we will be fighting for our families, home, country and freedom. The Russian forces currently on American soil have no stomach for a fight with the American people, I know because I speak fluent Russian and I have met them and many of their officers, when push comes to shove they will stand down and go home. I have met President Putin and I found him to be a Nationalist, the man believes in Russia and while he is interested in expanding Russian influence and power it is because of the threat he sees from America, England and NATO not because he has designs on taking over America.
I was part of a major Pentagon study concerning how our military might react to the coming civil war, our forces will break down into three sides, Patriots, Government and those who choose not to take a side but will protect and defend civilians. With modern antiaircraft systems (mobile and man portable) air power will be all but useless. What we will see is a ground war, city by city, street by street. Additionally what is coming will be unlike any civil war in history, it will be very personal, the government will call the Patriots forces terrorists and traitors, they will arrest, intern, torture and murder suspected terrorists families, this will result in bloody reprisals which will start a vicious cycle lasting for years.
I have a son and a friend of the family both of which I am proud to say are excellent and decorated officers, my son commands a wing of Apache helicopters and the family friend commands an armored brigade. We were having dinner a few weeks ago with several current and former officers. As the evening wore on the mood turned somber as this very subject came up, they have all discussed this including what to do. As the evening concluded both of my son and my friend’s son, and to a man, all of the other officers O’s came together with one statement.
“Sir, when you need us we will be there”.
I am personally aware that many such meetings have taken place with similar pledges of support.
I have tried to teach my these young officers and the men under my command two overriding principals:
Never start a fight but always finish it, and when going into battle let your enemy know through your words, deeds and actions that while I migh die today, know that I will not die easily and God willing I will not die alone.
With Regards and Respect
Lt. General ___ (ret)
For a long list of eyewitness testimonials concerning the Russian troops that began being imported into the USA in 2012 visit the revelation12.ca website and look in the menu on the right. I have been collecting these testimonies since 2012. The testimonies are sobering.

Operation Jade Helm

The following is information concerning the Military Operation “JADE HELM 15”.

 

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9WH4g6wxfg

http://d38zt8ehae1tnt.cloudfront.net/swf/player.swf?v=1166

http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/200467/operation_jade_helm_15_huge_info__interview_with_militia_professor_doom/

 

A couple months ago the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) stated that the number one threat to the United States is none other than its own citizenry. This isn’t some small group of spun out nuts or even groups of people that the government feels are too religious such as Waco Texas and The Branch Davidians. As far as Islam, they were not even mentioned in the report.  Instead, huge swaths of American culture and people were listed as the most likely threat to our country. These were some of the groups listed; Christians, Home Schoolers, Members of the Tea Party, Constitutionalists, Preppers (people who can food), Militia and the terrorist group they are most concerned about is returning combat veterans of the United States of America.  http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/03/operation-jade-helm-military-trains-martial-law-american-south-west/

The news of JADE HELM 15 has caught the internet on fire. Now, coming out of the woodwork are the nay sayers, propagandists, and straight out liars. Yes, I am calling them exactly what they are, liars. Political Correctness stops here. The truth may hurt, but it is the truth. If you don’t like that, then either go to a different site or change your behavior.

There have been individuals from “trolls” to others that “claim” they are ex-Special Operations Command stating “this is not a real drill,” Or that “the documents have been modified.” These statements are not true, and are only being used in another “PSYOP” upon the American People. I will prove to you beyond the shadow of a doubt this operation is, in fact, true, and call these people out for what they are, liars! Anyone who tells you this is not a planned drill is lying to you either blatantly or by complete ignorance, neither of which is acceptable.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/03/jade-helm-15-is-real-heres-the-proof/#PYf4GTytdyUeOEwz.99

From July 15th to September 15th, over a thousand armed American soldiers will maneuver through the Southwest United States as part of a vast operation with a single motto: “Master the Human Domain.” Internet conspiracy theorists wait their whole lives for a moment this rich.

“JADE HELM 15” is a real military exercise cooked up by the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). It’s also, if you ask a certain cohort of internet dweller who thinks each day will be the one when Barack Obama personally carries away his guns, the first phase of martial law in America. When I was first forwarded this slideshow—apparently a preliminary briefing on Jade Helm marked marked “For Official Use Only”—the conspiracy theorists were the only ones talking about the exercise.

AllNewsPipeLine.com considers this the beginning of the end:

With September of 2015 consistently being warned of as a potential timeframe for the global collapse and World War 3, are these exercises more proof that something huge will happen near that date or just more ongoing drills as posse comitatus no longer applies upon American soil and America turns into a ‘no longer’ invisible dictatorship?

The site adds that FEMA-operated “death domes” are already being erected across Texas to prepare for civilian abductions during Jade Helm. InfoWars, the New York Times of right-wing paranoia, notes that “Although nations can benefit from joint drills, the exercises also serve to blur the lines of national sovereignty, slowly leading to the formation of a North American Union.”

FreedomOutpost.com is equally suspicious:

For years now, our veterans, Christians, patriots, gun owners, constitutionalists, pro-life advocates, small government supporters, small businesses, real journalists in the press, anti-corruption activists, anti-UN Agenda 21 advocates, anti-global warming supporters, anti-war patriots, anti-criminal immigration supporters, have all been targeted by this administration as enemies of the United States, even within government documents. Are we supposed to trust that they have pure intentions now?

Realizing that ignoring the paranoid will do nothing to quiet them, Army spokespeople are trying to ease everyone’s nerves with some military boilerplate. From ArmyTimes.com:

The Army says Jade Helm is a real exercise and will take place in the Southwest, as the slides indicate. But USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said that’s the extent of the reports’ accuracy.

“It’s a training exercise. Just a regular training exercise,” Lastoria said of Jade Helm, which USASOC documentation references as a training exercise in at least one previous year as well.

It’s funny how even an extremely mundane denial sounds ominous coming from the Pentagon. Lastoria also spoke to Stars & Stripes:

“This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.”

But you don’t need to believe in FEMA death domes or an Islamofascist White House to find Jade Helm a little bit unsettling—even if it just a routine exercise meant to simulate a future Middle Eastern war zone inside America. One particular slide, which divides up the Southwest into “hostile” or “insurgent” pockets, has been the epicenter or message board frothing:

Jade Helm: The Pretend Invasion of Texas That's Driving the Web Crazy

http://gawker.com/jade-helm-the-pretend-invasion-of-texas-thats-driving-1693863561

The following is a downloadable PDF of the US Army Special Operations Command:

Jade-Helm-Martial-Law-WW3-Prep-Document-1

Also see this:

For More Information See: 

White House Memorandum: https://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/25/presidential-memorandum-delegation-authority-pursuant-section-1236b2-nat

Jade Helm: http://www.scribd.com/doc/258605525/Jade-Helm-Martial-Law-WW3-Prep-Document-1

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/25/administration-declassifies-top-secret-doc-that-reveals-israels-nuclear-secrets/

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/03/25/kerry-heading-back-to-switzerland-for-nuke-talks-with-iran

http://rt.com/news/244117-saudi-arabia-bombs-yemen-houthis/

NDAA: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-113HPRT92738/pdf/CPRT-113HPRT92738.pdf

What was the secret Air Force space plane’s mission? Five theories (+video)

After nearly two years orbiting Earth, the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane landed in California. What was the mysterious spacecraft doing in while in orbit?

By Elizabeth Howell, LiveScience October 17, 2014

Mysterious ‘space Plane’ Lands In California

After spending nearly two years in orbit on a secret mission, the U.S. Air Force‘s mysterious X-37B space plane landed today (Oct. 17) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The unmanned, reusable vehicle logged an unprecedented 675 days in space, but very little is known about the record-setting flight….

The X-37B, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, touched down at the Vandenberg Air Force Base today at 9:24 a.m. local Pacific Time (12:24 p.m. EDT). It was the third in a series of flights that the Air Force has conducted using its two X-37B planes.

This most recent flight, called OTV-3, was the third one to make it into orbit and was the longest mission, at 675 days.  The program’s inaugural mission launched in April 2010 and lasted 225 days. The space plane’s second mission lasted 469 days. [Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 7 Declassified Military & CIA Secrets]

Recommended: Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz

“I’m extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing,” Col. Keith Balts, commander of the 30th Space Wing, headquartered at Vandenberg, said in a statement.

But what has the space plane actually been doing in orbit? The top-secret nature of the X-37B missions has sparked a number of conspiracy theories. Here are some ideas about the X-37B’s purpose:

Surveillance

While the United States military has plenty of surveillance satellites in orbit, some people have suggested that the X-37B has high-tech monitoring gear designed to keep an eye on certain regions of Earth. “X-37B is probably carrying prototype reconnaissance gear, for spying on the Middle East and other sensitive geopolitical regions,” said ExtremeTech.com. So what’s the advantage of using a space plane to spy instead of a satellite? The plane likely can move to a region of interest faster than a satellite can, Business Week reported, although others have pointed out that the fuel requirements for doing this would likely be prohibitive.

Space bombing

While conspiracy theorists have jumped on this notion, Popular Mechanics dumped cold water on the idea. “Changing a spacecraft’s orbital plane requires a great amount of thrust — so using something like the X-37B as a bomber would mean changing its orbit to fly over targets, and that would eat up its limited fuel supply,” Popular Mechanics stated, quoting University of Maryland professor Mark Lewis, a former Air Force chief scientist.

Interfering with other satellites

Another idea is that the X-37B is, in the style of James Bond, supposed to take out other satellites that are making the U.S. government nervous. But, unless the plane is somehow conducting these nefarious activities from far away while not moving around very much, some suggest this is unlikely. “It would be very easy to trace that sort of activity back to the U.S. government since governments and amateurs alike can easily track the X-37B,” the Daily Beast reported.

Spying on the Chinese space station

Just before the X-37B launched, BBC and Spacefllight Magazine published reports suggesting that the orbit of the vehicle is close enough to watch what’s going on with China’s Tiangong-1 space station. Space analyst Jim Oberg, however, told BBC that this would be impossible. “They are in orbits which cross the equator about 90 degrees apart. They crisscross each others’ paths at thousands of meters per second. Any observation from one to the other is impossible,” he said.

Deploying spy satellites

Perhaps instead of interfering with satellites, the X-37B sends out its own. The space plane’s 2011 mission, at the least, carried it over the same regions of the Earth repeatedly, similar to the motions of satellites, so perhaps it released probes into a similar orbit. In a New York Times report, several amateur observers watching the space plane said that it flies over the same area of the planet every four days, which is expected of a reconnaissance satellite.

Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

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