See the ‘secret’ US Space Shuttle in the night sky

May 23, 2010 | By | Add a Comment
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Thanks to careful observing by satellite watcher Kevin Fetter and South African based observer Greg Roberts, we know know where to look for the U.S. Air Force’s secret X-37B Space Shuttle. Both were undertaking satellite video hunting sessions when the X-37B passed through their cameras field of view. After careful elimination of known satellites, they concluded that they had found the X-37B. Kevin Fetter’s discovery video can be found here (link reproduced with permission). The bright star like object moving across the bottom of the video is the X-37B.

As a result of this identification, the popular Heavens-Above.com site is now able to provide information for anyone interested on where to look for the X-37B. All you need to do is enter your location and the Heavens-Above.com site will generate viewing information for your location. Keep in mind that the X-37B will look like any other satellite passing overhead – a slowly moving star. Bookmarks for a number of locations can be found here on my site.

The X-37B was initially developed by NASA, and then cancelled due to budget concerns. The U.S. Air Force took over the project and it was launched at 9.52 pm AEST 23 April 2010.  While we know about the spacecraft from NASA initially developing it, it we don’t know what its mission is. Hence the use of the word ‘secret’ in brackets. More on the X-37B can be found here.

Image credit: U.S. Airforce

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About the Author (Author Profile)

This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.