The US and the USSR, both thought that by winning the space race they could flaunt their technological supremacy without actually going to war. Now, more than three decades later, it looks like that race may be back on.
Since 1999, the US Air Force and NASA have been developing the Boeing X-37B. Officially, this space plan is an orbital test vehicle that will be used to experiment with reusable space technologies. However, this unmanned spacecraft has the potential to become a valuable weapon in the final frontier. Though the US denies any military uses for the spacecraft, they obviously see this potential, and they are not alone.
This past month month, the Russians implied in an announcement, that their researchers are working on their own version the American orbital test vehicle.
Though the Russians are being tight-lipped about this project, theories abound. One such theory is the possible revival of the Braun program. The Braun program was a Soviet version of the US Shuttle program which did see initial results but was later scrapped. Yet, if the Russians are serious about their secret project, then they better get a move on.
The Chinese have also entered this modern-day space race with the development of their own space plane, the Shenlong. The Chinese space plane has been in development since at least 2007. Around that time, photos surfaced of the spacecraft, but the Chinese government did not confirm the existence of any such program.
This modern-day space race has more on the line that just bragging rights. As developed countries become more dependent on wireless and satellite communications, the more the need arises to protect those satellites. If an enemy could take out an opposing country’s satellites, then the opposing country could possibly lose a large part of their communication infrastructure.
The American Boeing X-37B finished a test flight this past December. Don’t be surprised if you see similar tests flying out of Russia and China very soon.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com