Nasa X37 B

Space Weather reports that satellite watcher Greg Roberts sighted the secret mini-shuttle flying over Cape Town, South Africa, on Oct 12th. An analysis of the sighting by satellite expert Ted Molczan suggests that the X-37B has maneuvered into an orbit 54 km lower than before. This is at very least the second time the orbit has changed.

The Pentagon has strongly denied claims that the X-37B’s mission supports the development of space-based weapons. A group of amateur sky watchers with members around the globe has concluded that the spacecraft’s mission is in support of space-based surveillance and reconnaissance technology; they reported the X-37B’s track took it over North Korea, Afghanistan and other trouble spots. According to them, the spacecraft passes over the same given spot on Earth every four days, and operates at altitude of 255 miles (410 km), which would be typical for a military surveillance satellite.

If you want to have a crack at spotting the X37 B for yourself try the excellent space object spotting site We have been using Heavens above for many years, its excellent! You will need a clear night and dark sky to spot this craft. Try looking at the International Space Station (ISS) passes to get your eye in first.

Happy hunting.

Quick update 3/12/10 Its landed

Another update post flight pictures

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.