Re:X-37B story

From: Greg Roberts (
Date: Sat Jan 07 2012 - 06:44:02 UTC

  • Next message: Harro Zimmer: "Decay Forecast Phobos Grunt"

    Morning all
    Been following the discussion about X-37B spying on Chinese satellite.
    I was approached by a British journalist based in Florida writing freelance
    for The TIMES newspaper of London for my comment on the article as I
    had been involved in tracking it.
    Here is what I said at the time:
    "I am familiar with the story about the X-37B spying on Tiangong-1 and I frankly
    dont attach much significance to it. The X-37B was placed in orbit quite some
    time before Tiangong-1 and since then has not done any significant orbital
    changes to indicate any deviation from their original intentions. It is of
    course possible that they might want to inspect Tiangong-1 if in the vicinity of
    it but the fact that the orbits of the two craft are similar  should not have
    any significance attached to it as there are a large number of other satellites
    in similar orbits - space is pretty congested.
    Since the mission and capabilities of X-37B are only known to those that manage
    its program etc any speculation by the general public is nothing but 
    I am sure that if the USA wanted to spy on X-37B they could probably do it
    better with other spy satellites - for example the KH-11 spacecraft which have
    done recent manoeuvers but then again since these missions are classified the
    reasons for the changes are strictly speculation.
    In the meantime Ill do a closer check on the orbits of X37B and Tiangong -1 and
    see just how well they match but at this point in time I am not expecting
    anything startling or to change my opinion that its meaningless speculation.
    and in a follow up enail to this I further wrote:
    I guess Spaceflight magazine is keen on the theory as it makes good
    press/publicity material. I dont know the person who wrote the article-in fact I
    havent seen the article as such, but I suspect he is not a satellite tracker and
    is not that familiar with what goes on "upstairs".    Being a Dr does not
    automatically make anyone an "expert"!
    Seesat-l mailing list

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jan 07 2012 - 15:41:49 UTC