Wednesday, August 25, 2010

US military's top secret X-37B shuttle 'disappears' for two weeks, changes orbit | News.com.au

X-37B unmanned space shuttle
 
This is really cool. Instead of trying to build a new shuttle, somebody actually figured out how to take the parts of the process that work (reusable vehicle that is blasted off like a rocket, then glides down like a plane) and made it smaller (read: cheaper) and unmanned. They also added some interesting capabilities, like the way it scoots in and out of the atmosphere to switch directions, which totally screws with anyone that is relying on basic orbital tracking calculations to figure out where it should be.