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vjp

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I read space.com regularly, and I love hearing a good conspiracy theory too (the healthy, rational, fact-based ones, not the "bilderburger" or "freemasonry" nonsense). So when I read this article, it piqued my interest and fired up all sorts of neural pathways trying to figure out what's up.

http://www.space.com/news/nasa_x37_040914.html

...I'm laying bets that the mysterious "classified government entity" is the NRO. Takers? Alternate theories?
 

rstaff3

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The tie-in to Scaled is cool. I wonder if, despite the agency being classified, we'll see progress reports on the test flight?
 

rabidsheeep

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didn't they stop the x plane projects years ago?

i think your avatar is a bit scarier :D
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by vjp
I read space.com regularly, and I love hearing a good conspiracy theory too (the healthy, rational, fact-based ones, not the "bilderburger" or "freemasonry" nonsense). So when I read this article, it piqued my interest and fired up all sorts of neural pathways trying to figure out what's up.

http://www.space.com/news/nasa_x37_040914.html

...I'm laying bets that the mysterious "classified government entity" is the NRO. Takers? Alternate theories?
"Unmarked helicopters, hovering, uh,
They said it was a weather balloon".
Foo Fighters, from the X-Files CD.

My money says Space Command; the DynaSoar's children are coming home to roost at the Air Force where it all started. They'll handle ops and relegate mission space as required by other agencies.

But THIS part is what I think is the Big News hidden as a small comment:

"Braukus said Scaled Composites would be involved in the X-37 approach and landing demonstrations next year, but could not say whether the Mojave-based company would be using the White Knight or some other aircraft. The B-52 aircraft that NASA normally uses for such drop tests would not be used, a decision made by the agency now in charge of the X-37 program, he said. "The cost analysis favored Scaled Composites," Braukus said."

The government is contracting an experimental space project to a private company. A private company is a cheaper way to space than the government. To me, this says that as of this project, commercial space access is successful. After this, the X-Prize is just gravy, because the point it set out to prove is proven.

Welcome to the future.
 

vjp

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Originally posted by DynaSoar
The government is contracting an experimental space project to a private company. A private company is a cheaper way to space than the government. To me, this says that as of this project, commercial space access is successful... ...Welcome to the future.
i.e., Clarke & Kubrik were bang-on when they portrayed a Pan-Am space clipper and a Hyatt hotel in space! :)

If the gummint's willing to pay $400 for a hammer and $2000 for a toilet seat for the air force, no wonder space access has never been easy for them.

I'm revising my theory though, I think most likely now it's not NRO (they're most likely to purchase a finished system, not an x- program vehicle) but probably DARPA instead, with an eye to producing a cheap, quick way to insert fast recon microsats into space for emergency contingencies.

But don't underestimate the gov't's ability to turn a cheap system into an expensive one, once they're finished with it!

...hey, what's so scary about my avatar? :D
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by vjp
i.e., Clarke & Kubrik were bang-on when they portrayed a Pan-Am space clipper and a Hyatt hotel in space! :)

If the gummint's willing to pay $400 for a hammer and $2000 for a toilet seat for the air force, no wonder space access has never been easy for them.

I'm revising my theory though, I think most likely now it's not NRO (they're most likely to purchase a finished system, not an x- program vehicle) but probably DARPA instead, with an eye to producing a cheap, quick way to insert fast recon microsats into space for emergency contingencies.

But don't underestimate the gov't's ability to turn a cheap system into an expensive one, once they're finished with it!

...hey, what's so scary about my avatar? :D
It's Bob! Hi, Bob!

Well, except for Pan Am not existing by 2001, they had it right. Maybe Ariane and AirBus will merge to form SpaceBus.

DARPA is where military projects live until they're assigned. Where else would they assign a vehicle capable of at least suborbital flight carrying an orbital sustainer vehicle?

Microsats, certainly. Satellite interceptors? Cruise missiles with heat shields?
 

vjp

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Well GOLLLLLLLLLLY, I was right (the second time)!

http://www.space.com/news/x37_darpa_040915.html

...now if they would only bring back the X-33 Venture Star.

"Gee, we screwed up the fuel tank. Let's just cancel the whole program. We'll never need a replacement for the Space Shuttle, anyway!" (gawd.....)
 

Missileman

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Wow what a coincidence.
I just watched a program on History channel about DARPA.
It revolved mostly around the $2 Million prize for an autonomous ground vehicle.
That is very interesting.
 

rabidsheeep

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the history channel does base its shows on current events or movies i.e. the full night special on D.B. Cooper when "without a paddle" came out
 

graylensman

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It's news to me. I wonder if they're looking at the indefinite grounding of the STS as an opportunity to fill a percieved need in low orbit transportation. They'll also probably need a great deal of assistance from outside aerospace companies. My guess is by the time Kliper flies, it'll have more logos on it than Little E's Number 8 car.
 

Chilly

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Don't forget, Rutan is already building a reusable microsat launch vehicle for DARPA, called RASCAL. It's supposed to do close to Mach 3, then zoom-climb to about 200,000' where it will release a solid-fuel upper stage. Scaled is THE place to be a pilot these days.
 
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