The Pendleton Panther

“Top Secret” Spacecraft Spotted

Posted on: May 26, 2010

Launched April 22nd from Cape Canaveral, the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane is designed to bring the maneuverability of an aircraft together with the speed and surveillance capabilities of a spacecraft.  The unmanned mini shuttle was fired off in an Atlas V rocket.   Although pictures, such as the one top left, have been released by the Air Force, the flightpath and area have operation have remained top secret.  However, being that the X-37B only skims the edge of space in Low Earth Orbit, amateur astronomers have been able to find and photograph the bright, streaking speck in the night sky.  The first sightings were made by enthusiasts in Capetown, South Africa and Toronto, Canada.  With the location and time of both sightings, the craft’s entire orbit has been mapped out by civilians.  You can see when and if the X-37B will be flying over your head here.

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