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SECRET SPACE SHIPS Military Missions of the Space Shuttle January 9, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in NSA, Security.
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The first military Shuttle mission was launched from Pad 39A at 1500Z on 27 June 1982. Military space missions also accounted for part or all of 14 out of 37 Shuttle flights launched from the Cape between August 1984 and July 1992. While many details of those missions are not releasable, some features of Shuttle payload ground processing operations and range support requirements can be summarized for what might be termed a \”typical\” military space mission.  – SOURCE: Global Security

A military space shuttle would have been the military equivalent of NASA\’s space shuttle. Many experts believe that it is extremely unlikely that NASA, the United States Department of Defense or any other Federal agency could keep the existence of such a spacecraft secret, given the official knowledge that stated extensive technical support and launching establishment would be necessary to fly it.

It should however be noted that, early in the design phase of what eventually became the Space Shuttle, there were plans for the U.S. military to purchase some of the vehicles for its own purposes (mainly the servicing and crewing of proposed \’surveillance space stations\’). The design requirements that thus emerged (in particular, the need for a longer-range glide capability, enabling the shuttle to land at specific U.S. Air Force bases), affected the eventual design of the vehicle, increasing its complexity. However, none of these \’Blue Shuttles\’ were ever built, and the U.S. military turned to increasingly sophisticated unmanned satellites as a more viable alternative.

via SECRET SPACE SHIPS Military Missions of the Space Shuttle.

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