A sonic boom was heard across central Florida today as the X-37B unmanned “space plane” returned to Earth after a highly secretive, 700+ day experimental mission in orbit around the planet, according to the US Air Force. The Air Force insisted the operation was generally focused on reusable space technology, though analysts say the secrecy suggests some surveillance was being conducted.
This is just part of the Air Force ambitions to dramatically increase their general spending on space warfare, with Stratcom deputy director Brig. Gen. John Shaw insisted that the US “will be threatened in space, and we need to be prepared for that.”
The US already spends more than anyone else on land warfare, on naval warfare, and on their air force, and even though there appears to be little to no strategic interest in outer space at this point, it seems to be a juicy sinkhole into which the Pentagon can heedlessly funnel billions.
In the near-term, the funding is mostly expected to go toward warfare over satellites, nominally to defend against the nearly non-existent offensive capabilities of other nations, but also to develop the ability to blow up other nations’ satellites. if the mood strikes them.
The space plane points to the ambitions going far beyond blowing up satellites, however, with an orbital drone looming overhead for years on end doing highly classified missions suggests they’ve got a lot of things in mind, just not the sort of things they want to admit to publicly.
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