spacetoday.net: space news from around the webin association with SpaceNews


Report: military tested manned spaceplane
Posted: Mon, Mar 6, 2006, 1:37 PM ET (1837 GMT)
The US military secretly tested for years a manned spaceplane capable of reaching orbit, Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine reported in its latest issue Monday. The article, based on observations and other intelligence collected over the years, claims that the military and/or intelligence community tested and perhaps operated a two-stage spaceplane code-named "Blackstar" starting in the 1980s. Blackstar consisted of an aircraft similar to the XB-70 supersonic bomber, which carried a winged orbital vehicle under its fuselage; the orbital vehicle was air-launched and could achieve orbit before returning for a runway landing. The Aviation Week report suggests that Blackstar may have become operational in the 1990s, performing reconnaissance and satellite deployment missions. However, the system appears to have been quietly shelved in recent years, either because of funding problems or difficulties achieving technology goals.
<<previous article   next article>>
news in brief
Russia plans to resume crewed Soyuz launches in December
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 9:00 AM ET (1400 GMT)

China launches Beidou satellite
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 8:59 AM ET (1359 GMT)

Dawn mission declared over
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 8:58 AM ET (1358 GMT)

news links
Wednesday, November 14
Campus to honor Apollo 8
Tarrant County College District Collegian — 5:17 am ET (1017 GMT)


about spacetoday.net   ·   info@spacetoday.net   ·   mailing list