X-37B Headed Deeper Into Space With Falcon Heavy Rocket’s Help

The countdown is on for the next mission of the U.S. Space Force’s secretive X-37B spaceplane. While all of the X-37B’s missions so far have been highly intriguing, to say the least, the next one — the seventh — will involve some particular novelties. Not only will it explore what the Space Force describes as “new orbital regimes,” but the reusable spaceplane will ride atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful commercial rocket operational anywhere in the world, with the potential to put it much into much higher orbit than was possible on previous missions.

The Space Force announced yesterday that X-37B Mission 7 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 7, 2023. The spaceplane’s first mission on a Falcon Heavy rocket will be designated USSF-52 and it will be run by the Space Force together with the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

In a typically tersely worded statement, the Space Force said that X-37B Mission 7 will have “a wide range of test and experimentation objectives.” It continued: “These tests include operating the reusable spaceplane in new orbital regimes, experimenting with future space domain awareness technologies, and investigating the radiation effects on materials provided by NASA.”


Comment: The article goes into decent depth on what the X-37B has done and may do. It mentions the spaceplane’s probable role in an emerging Space Force orbital warfare mission. Space Delta 9 will control this flight. This unit is tasked with tracking potentially hostile activity in space, as well as deterring and defeating those threats. This is the first competitively won Air Force mission for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy beating ULA’s Delta IV Heavy. It’s scheduled to launch on 7 December from Kennedy Space Center. This is also the first time the spaceplane will launch as a Space Force craft. Colonel Lang would be happy to see the Space Force is coming into its own.


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15 Responses to X-37B Headed Deeper Into Space With Falcon Heavy Rocket’s Help

  1. F&L says:

    I LOOKED. At the photo of the new long cylindrical shaped flying machine.

    Then I saw the name of the author. THOMAS NEWDICK.

    Thanks TTG.

    • TTG says:


      It must have been tough for him as a kid.

      • F&L says:

        I just saw a crude wordplay you might appreciate, on a bitterly critical Ru Telegram channel called Nightingale Vomit (Vladimir Soloviev, the moronic and thuggish Putin propagandist, evidently his last name means Nightingale in Russian).

        They changed “Russian Federation” by switching leading letters, in the style of old Spoonerisms to: Fu_ing Pederation.

        Imperfect since the leading word doesn’t end in ‘ian.’ But it’s the thought that counts. So there you have it, TTG. ‘Pederation’ has been staring us right in the face for a very long time and it passed us right by, under our noses so to speak. Since the joke pokes fun at their government and not their people’s, I’m ok with it. The best I’ve come up with for ‘America’ is something I haven’t quite put the finishing touches on yet, but if Donald Trump, Lindsay Graham, Mike Johnson, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can manage not to bankrupt this place entirely within the next year and a new craze like drying children’s shampooed heads with microwave ovens doesn’t replace sex-change surgery for 9 year olds I’ll try to let you know.

        • TTG says:


          “sex-change surgery for 9 year olds”

          Is that really a thing? Puberty blocking drugs and hormone therapy have definitely become more prevalent as has sex change surgery in adults, but not for children. Surgeries were often performed on intersex babies in order to conform to societal norms, but that’s less common now. Intersex people are allowed to live life as they choose. They walk among us. The male-female dichotomy may be the norm and necessary for the survival of most species, but the distinction between sexes is not often that simple or clear.

          • F&L says:

            Is a Ukraine Colonel blowing up Nordstream really a thing?

            Let’s not ruin a nice day quibbling. Enjoy this translated comment to the post which immediately follows it from the Nightingale Droppings channel. It assumes graduate level familiarity with one of His Nibsovich’s famous cartoon-show weapon unveilings.

            We, after drinking water from a puddle, go straight to Paradise. And the vile Anglo-Saxons are undoubtedly going to Hell!

            Residents of Voronezh were left without water and during the rain they went to collect water from a puddle.
            I don’t know another country like this, do you?
            After all, in a decaying Europe they will die of thirst, but the Russians, accustomed to living without everything, will survive.

  2. Christian J Chuba says:

    I’m all for cool technology but this is the U.S. dominating space. How is this a defensive weapon?

    All of the weapons tested by Russia and China involve firing ground based missiles to destroy low earth orbit, U.S. satellites as they fly over their countries. We are the only country developing exotic, space based weapons.

    • TTG says:

      Christian J Chuba,

      Russia is also working on space-based anti-satellite weapons. I don’t know about China, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t doing the same.


    • fredw says:

      “We are the only country developing exotic, space based weapons.”

      That assertion is ridiculous. Every country with a functioning space program has to be investigating such weapons at some level. To not do so would constitute gross negligence or incompetence. Regardless of any aggressive intentions, every country with working satellite technology needs to be aware of the state of such capabilities if only to not be caught flat-footed by their first use.

    • ked says:

      basically, we’re in first place.

  3. Lars says:

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to see that launch, since I will be out of town. I am sure my neighbors at Patrick Space Force Base will be excited about it. A lot of people are very happy that the base now has an important military mission that is was lacking before and having a Big Bird up there is a step in the right direction.

  4. F&L says:

    I am an evil person who has come under the influence of a, or The, Twisted Genius. It’s led me into the depravity of chuckling over the misfortunes of a great people. You really should turn away, but if not, check out the brief video at 8447 of Solovievskii Pomët below.

    Relevance? This is not a country to worry ourselves about. Open your eyes. It does earn huge $$$ for some very wasteful military industries though. The secret high flying marvel will be monitoring people purifying puddle water and middle aged police learning mandarin while sitting in their fold-up chairs bought online from Alibaba.

    Here it is, we are finally rising from our knees…👍
    Thread post with video:
    Nothing unusual, just Russian police officers studying Chinese.
    When Putin talked about how Alexander Nevsky went to pay his respects to the Golden Horde, he apparently meant that Russia had become a colony of China.

    Nightingale Droppings

  5. F&L says:

    Below are the concluding paragraphs of an article about the country’s future – at the link. It brings to mind Col Lang’s musings because as I recall, when TTG would say that the US wasn’t in a civil war configuration, not by any means, Col Lang would mention the option of states splitting off. This author ties the likelihood to the debt which is really colossal now as treasury rates are so high that now stocks earn less than treasuries, something not seen since the 1980s and at the dotcom crash (which conspiracy theorists tie to the towers falling so decades of war could commence). FYI.
    Could it be that all the mounting corruption, dysfunction, and geriatric bogarting of political leadership in the US culminates in such a violent tragedy, utterly tarnishing voters’ perception of the integrity of their electoral system? Probably not, though the summer riots of 2020 and January 6 are evidence of violent discontent brewing on all sides. Despite the country’s love affair with its mythical 1776 revolution, the US two-party cartel will not end with another “tea party”, nor a proverbial storming of the Bastille (as the Left fantasises). More likely, it will end with states breaking off from the union in an attempt to escape the country’s monstrous federal debt — more than $100,000 for every American.

    The end of dollar supremacy
    The bleak financial future Gen Z and Millennials face combined with yet another obscenely expensive war — paid for on the national credit card — will trigger a series of events that delivers the final blow to 50-state America and the two-party cartel that rules it. The impact of the coming war in the Middle East — both in terms of lives lost and the trillions borrowed to fight it — could be higher than any conflict the US has fought since the Second World War. At the current rate, interest payments alone on the money borrowed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $6.5 trillion by 2050. Add to that the cost of a potential new conflict including forces from Iran, Turkey, and even Russia? The effect will be devastating and irreversible.

    There is simply no money for another lengthy military engagement in the Middle East. Britain, in essence, lost its 13 American colonies along the Atlantic coast by taxing the colonists to repay debts incurred to fight the French and Indian War. Financing wars, even necessary ones, often topples regimes. No empire is too large to ignore its debts. And the United States is long overdue.

  6. F&L says:

    Seymour Hersh’s latest on Gaza. There’s a lot here.

    Excerpts – not particularly representative:

    1-The change in approach came on a day in which Israel learned that the two major leaders of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas political leader in Gaza, and Mohammed Deif, its military leader, had fled Gaza City for the south. “The do-or-die leadership are not ready to die,” the Israeli insider told me. The offer came after a day of a sniper fire near Al-Shifa Hospital and five other targeted hospitals in Gaza City. “There was no need to bomb now.” 
    There was another reason Israel was reluctant to make the trade. The continuing collapse of the Hamas tunnel system—a result of the constant Israeli bombing—has left clues suggesting where the Israeli hostages might be kept. There was pressure from the Israeli special operations community to consider a Entebbe-style raid that could free the hostages without bargaining.
    2-When asked of the impact of those visits, the informed official, who has worked on Middle Eastern issues for decades, responded cryptically: “Bibi to those three blind mice: ‘Shaddup already.’” The official explained: “There is a power vacuum in Washington. No one is running the show” while America is continuing to ship as many as one thousand bombs daily to Israel. “It’s chaos in the White House. They are saying the same things over and over. They are doing what they think will get the president re-elected. He is a George the Third. It’s scary, and it is disgraceful

  7. James says:

    Since we are on the topic of spaceplanes … there is a youtuber who has a travel channel and goes by the nom de plume of ‘Bald and Bankrupt’. He did lots of … what I would call ‘travel porn’ … traveling around Russia and the former Soviet Union. I like his style – it makes me feel like I am the one catching the bus in the middle of nowhere with a rucksack on my back.

    He ended up going too far and got himself banned from Russia after he and his Belarusian sidekick Alina decided to sneak into the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to check out the soviet spaceshuttle called The Duran:

    I don’t think it is staged – I think they really did sneak in. I’ve always wanted to visit that cosmodrome. And the crazy son-of-a-gun just crossed the Darien Gap on foot with a bunch of migrants. Now that was crazy.

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