A reusable space drone could appear in the USSR half a century ago
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A reusable space drone could appear in the USSR half a century ago

17 May , 14:05
An analogue of the top-secret military reusable X-37B military aircraft in the Soviet Union could appear back in the 1960s and 70s.

TASS said yesterday that the launch of the top-secret military reusable X-37B military drone has been delayed for 24 hours due to adverse weather conditions in the area of the launch site at Cape Canaveral.

Journalists of the Military-Political Analytics channel obtained extremely interesting information on this subject:

“According to the official version, the shuttle must carry out work on converting solar energy into microwave energy. But the aircraft designer Hovhannes Mikoyan believes that the Pentagon is testing anti-satellite weapons under this legend.

The UAV is launched into orbit by the ULA AtlasV launch vehicle, which uses Russian RD-180 engines. The spaceplane, according to the official version, must work out the conversion of solar energy to provide unlimited flight time for satellites and drones in orbit.

The son of Artyom Mikoyan said that such space drones could have appeared in the USSR in the 1960–70s in the MiG design bureau under the Spiral program, which was led by his father, but the program was wrapped up by Defense Minister Marshal Grechko. He refused to sign the order, calling it fiction.

“... My father was already negotiating with Korolev to put our spacecraft into orbit using the Soyuz rocket. Our space plane was called "product 105.11." 11 - this means a subsonic option. As a platform for launching the device, it was originally planned to use an “accelerator” aircraft, the speed of which according to the project was to be 6–8 Machs. But no one did the “accelerator” plane ... ”, Mikoyan quoted MK as saying.

The device, on which Soviet designers worked, was called "Lapot". According to Mikoyan, if you look closely at the American X-37B, it will become clear that in the shape of the fairing it is almost an exact copy of the Soviet "Bast".

“... As soon as perestroika began, and after it complete collapse, the Americans bought his drawings. Or maybe they stole it - I don’t know for sure. But the drawings of “Lapti” disappeared...”, - the designer noted.

According to Hovhannes Mikoyan, this is not surprising, since the United States carefully watched its creation from the very beginning.

X-37B is able to independently operate at altitudes from 200 to 750 km, while actively maneuvering. The duration of its autonomous stay in orbit is constantly increasing, the fifth amounted to 780 days..."

The spaceplane is causing concern among the Russian military. They are confident that the device is used to collect intelligence. In the future, he will be able to shoot down with laser weapons or disable satellites and orbital stations of US opponents.

Here is what the Military Review experts wrote about this a year ago:

According to some estimates, the experimental X-37Bs have already been used to launch compact satellites of unknown purpose into orbit. In addition, they are supposedly able to "catch" small-sized objects in space and bring to Earth. Such opportunities can be used to maintain the operability of the space constellation. Also, it becomes possible to quickly deploy a small group of satellites of the necessary purpose in given orbits. For example, this may be additional means of communication over the war zone. A payload theoretically could be weapons for various purposes. X-37B can be used as an orbital bomber or as an interceptor of space technology. However, the implementation of such opportunities is prohibited by international agreements ... "

Also, it is highly likely that the X-37B will become a nuclear weapon carrier, the newspaper said.

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