What kind of unmanned space shuttle X-37B is the United States experiencing in space?

The United States is pursuing a course on the use of space for conducting combat operations and testing the latest strike-combat equipment, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

The American reusable unmanned space shuttle X-37B, capable of prolonged time to be in orbit, to make maneuvers and carry a payload, according to official representatives of the department. Requests to the American side regarding the clarification of specific goals and objectives that are being worked out on the X-37B platform as part of its current mission remain unanswered. Let's try to figure out what's really going on. & Nbsp;

What is the X-37B?

NASA and Boeing began the project of the orbiting unmanned spaceplane X-37 in 1999. It was planned that the shuttle will operate at an altitude of 700 kilometers and will repair satellites in orbit. However, in 2004, the US military completely classified the project, transferring it to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since then, almost no information has been received on this topic.

It is known that two unmanned vehicles have been built. Wingspan & mdash; four and a half meters, length & mdash; about nine. Takes about a ton of cargo on board. The X-37B shuttle made its first flight in 2010, having spent more than six months in orbit. The Americans tested the controls, navigation equipment, the strength of the thermal protection shell and the automated systems of the vehicle.

Usually, an unmanned spacecraft operates at an altitude of 320-400 kilometers. Frequently maneuvers, changes flight parameters.

Why do you need it?

The US authorities say that the X-37B is testing reusable spacecraft technology. Experiments are also carried out on board, the results of which are studied after the shuttle returns to Earth. In particular, NASA's special equipment is investigating the influence of the space environment on various types of materials.

But, according to some Russian experts, the X-37B was created in the interests of the US Department of Defense and is a carrier of small reconnaissance satellites. In particular, it is stated that the device carries on board small satellites weighing only a few kilograms. He is constantly on alert, and if a hot spot arises somewhere, he can release satellites over this place. They will provide ground troops with communications, navigation and reconnaissance. This is a military rapid reaction apparatus.

Can it be used as a weapon?

It is unprofitable to destroy satellites with the help of such devices, there are much more effective ways of fighting, according to some experts. However, others are inclined to believe that the Americans are working on technologies for creating combat space interceptors on the X-37B. The fact that the X-37B can carry weapons was previously stated by head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin .

It is interesting that the military orientation of the project was indirectly confirmed by the former US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. According to her, the unusual maneuverability of the secret X-37B in space drives the enemies of the United States crazy.

The only consolation & mdash; The Russian Federation can easily track the position of the “ spaceplane. '' & Nbsp;

The essence of the conflict

The information confrontation began after Russia on November 15 successfully tested an anti-satellite missile, which destroyed the inoperative Tselina-D spacecraft. & Nbsp;

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Russia had tested anti-satellite systems. According to him, this contradicts Moscow's statements about the inadmissibility of placing weapons in outer space. Blinken added that by its actions the Russian Federation allegedly endangers the “ long-term stability of the space environment and the use of space by all countries.

The Russian Ministry of Defense assured the United States that the fragments formed in terms of test time and orbit parameters did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities.

Have weapons been tested in space before?

The Russian distrust of the US actions in space has arisen, as they say, for a reason. According to the Foreign Ministry, since the 1950s, the United States has been steadily pursuing a course towards the use of outer space for military operations and the deployment of strike weapons systems in it in order to achieve military superiority up to the achievement of total domination in space. As evidence, it is cited the fact that the relevant tasks are enshrined in the updated Defense Space Strategy. and the doctrinal document of the US Space Forces. & nbsp;

Russia states that in order to implement these guidelines, Washington and its allies are carrying out large-scale programs to develop weapons systems designed to use force or threat by force in space, from space or against space, including in a proactive manner. This is, first of all, about the creation of a space-based anti-missile grouping (which includes interception means), as well as means of unauthorized influence on objects of the orbital space infrastructure.

Is there any confirmation?

Washington, without any preliminary warnings, is testing in orbit the latest strike-combat weapons of various types, and even with the destruction of its spacecraft, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. For example, on February 20, 2008, the SM-3 anti-missile missile was used to destroy the American satellite USA-193. & Nbsp;

In 1982, the US military-political leadership decided to start developing a new generation anti-satellite missile. This is how the ASM-135 ASAT was born. This two-stage solid-propellant rocket was launched from an F15 fighter jet. The rocket passed all laboratory tests in 1984, and in 1985 there was a combat launch. & Nbsp;

Therefore, almost any apparatus launched by the United States into space can be suspected of being committed to military goals. Of course, stronger evidence is required to confirm the version, but you should not relax.

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