U.S military could make ‘Star Wars’ a reality

The U.S. Air Force sent an unmanned spacecraft on its maiden voyage Thursday. With a wingspan of 15 feet and at a length of 27.5 feet, X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle 1 is expected evolve space exploration and technology, according to military officials. Despite the pageantry of sending a vehicle into space, the Air Force has kept the cost and purpose of the space vehicle a secret and for good reason – if exposed, the intent of this vehicle could, perhaps, lead to a second Cold War.X37B is one technologically savvy vehicle. It’s the world’s only reusable operational space vehicle, a first in space technology. It also has the ability to stay in space for nine months at a time. Not to mention, concern is looming that the vehicle yields value as a combat support system, an anti-satellite and a weapons launch pad for the military. But exactly what would the Air Force need with a space vehicle with such capabilities?The clandestine nature of the shuttle’s mission may have added a new dimension to the global arms race – a space war of sorts. Some think that the vehicle’s launch might be a grassroots stage the U.S. military is taking to eventually attack its foes while in space. In response to public skepticism about the launch, officials in Washington have failed to come up with an explanation. The Pentagon denies any claims that the U.S. is developing a space arsenal. “I don’t know how this could be called weaponization of space,” said Gary Payton, the Air Force deputy under secretary for space programs. “We, the Air Force, have a suite of military missions in space, and this new vehicle could potentially help us do those missions better,” Payton said. Brian Weeden, the technical adviser for the Secure World Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the responsible use of space, agrees that the thought of this particular vehicle being used for combat is preposterous, but failed to deny that U.S. is seeking to develop efficient long range attack methods. “The U.S. military is seeking to develop a conventional weapons capability known as Prompt Global Strike that can deliver munitions to anywhere on the Earth within an hour,” Weeden said.Colonel Andre Lovett, a launch official and vice-commander of the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, said the mission has at least some defense purposes.“This launch helps ensure that our war-fighters will be provided the capabilities they need in the future,” said Lovett in a statement last Thursday.If world leaders aren’t already outraged over the secretive nature of this military operation, they have every right to be; especially since President Barack Obama seems to be going out of his way to begin a global nuclear disarmament – a method, if proven entirely successful, will be an historic feat for U.S. foreign policy.“As a superpower, the U. S. has been calling for nuclear disarmament all these years and urged other countries to be more responsible for world peace and safety,” said Zhao Xiaozhuo, a research fellow of military studies under China’s Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army.The military’s intentions with this unpiloted vehicle may remain a mystery. If the space-war theory holds any truth, then this mystery vehicles’ launch is uncanny, considering the mission comes one week after the president urged world leaders to disarm their nukes.