BEGUN THESE DRONE WARS HAVE  11:04 pm April 22, 2010

US Launches Secret Robot Space Shuttle

by Ken Layne

Rise of the Machines.A robotic space plane launched from Cape Canaveral at 7:52 p.m. tonight, and god knows what that even means. The X-37b is a small unmanned orbiter that can stay in space for up nine months at a time and glides down to a runway landing like some eerie 2010 version of, say, a 1970s space shuttle. Nobody will say what it’s doing or why it’s up there.

This project isn’t run by NASA, but by the Pentagon. No wonder the NASA people are so ticked off these days.

Drone craft kill the brown people our government doesn’t like and mysterious new pilot-free space planes zoom around the Earth, waiting for a signal. The Time of the Robots is here. The recruiting storefronts in the half-empty strip malls should be going the way of Bed Bath ‘n Beyond pretty soon now. [Associated Press/Christian Science Monitor]

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Hola wonkerados.

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Dashboard_Buddha April 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm


Buzz Feedback April 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm

DEMON SHEEP on board.

megs April 22, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Dyna-Soar II: The Robotening

memzilla April 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm

This is a great way to deploy unpredictable surveillance platforms. Satellites run in predictable 90 minutes orbits, so you got plenty o’ time to cover up what you don’t want seen. This thing can’t be predicted, so you have a much better chance of seeing stuff.

Couple this with the X-51 Hypersonic Prompt Global Stike Platform, it’s a really good combination. For bombing teh browns, like we always do.

ManchuCandidate April 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Are you kidding?

Knowing the Pentagon, it’s probably intended to be Terminator but ends up to be Wall-E. I’d say that Skynet is probably one of those Paul Spambots.

Norbert April 22, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Can we now defund the Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator?

WadISay April 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Stay up for nine months? Listen, call your doctor after 4 hours.

Buzz Feedback April 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

[re=562657]Norbert[/re]: You have made me very angry.

Ken Layne April 22, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Nerds, the lot of you.

Radiotherapy April 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

So which way will Foxfux go with this?
1. This is a slush fund for the Chicago machine?
2. What about jobs, why isn’t Obama worried about jobs?
3. It weakens our national security, and impinges on our freedoms, what would Raygun do?
4. Why can’t this administration keep things double secret probation, secret?

obfuscator April 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

[re=562663]Ken Layne[/re]: off topic, but the colbert report just used a screengrab from THIS VERY SITE.

it was in reference to senator/diaper goblin david vitter.

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

[re=562663]Ken Layne[/re]: Ken, Colbert just flashed a screen grab of Wonkette on his Word about Lindsey Grahmn homosexuality in back up of David Vitter and the Diaper sex.

JMP April 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

We’ve already sent the robots to conquer Mars; why not give them low-Earth orbit as well? And hey, the cold, logical emotionless rule of the robots would be preferable to the delusional illogical rule of the teabaggers.

BTW, did anyone else catch the Wonkette screengrab Colbert just showed?

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Obviously, Obama has ordered this to put the star near the crescent moon.

stew April 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Wonkette got a Colbert Bump (and we have Diaper Dave to thank)!!!

Ken Layne April 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm

What was it, anybody know?

Escape Goat Nation April 22, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I thought Obama closed the NASA store.

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 12:01 am

[re=562673]Ken Layne[/re]: i didn’t see the title of the post, but it was one with this image, i think:

SayItWithWookies April 23, 2010 at 12:01 am

Hmmm…the military ate the State Department over the last couple of decades, and now it’s fighting the NSA for the carcass of NASA. Next it’s gonna get some mayo on a bun and come after the border patrol (does anyone ever call them ICE?) I just hope they do away with all those velcro patches before they take over my employer. I’d lose a couple of those every day.

Anyway, yay to the militarization of freakin’ everything. They’re the government employees everybody agrees do stuff right. And if they don’t, they’ve got the national security cred to call it a secret and bury it for decades. With any luck, whatever horrible shit people are doing now will come out just as the last few survivors can start talking about it, and the young people of the future can look at us with shame and horror and wonder how we let shit get so out of control.

I look forward to looking those young people in the eye and telling them about how we arrested and prosecuted every greedy, lying, Constitution-debasing, unitary-executive authoritarian, torture-loving, body-burying, faith-based chickenhawk narcissist motherfucker who led the country into being the global neighborhood’s BTK killer.

El Pinche April 23, 2010 at 12:02 am


iwillsavethispatient April 23, 2010 at 12:09 am

Is this the new Ron Paul blimp?

R[love]ution, now with added Space travel!

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 12:18 am

[re=562677]SayItWithWookies[/re]: we’re a country built on a war fetish and a democracy fetish. it seems to me that way too many people care only about the former. you don’t see little kids running around outside playing “constitutional convention”. too busy stockpiling camouflage from the surplus store and playing “army”.

do kids actually play outside these days? can they find camouflage to fit their fat little asses?

Jim89048 April 23, 2010 at 12:20 am

Saw that on Colbert but the freaky thing is that just before that, I was thinking how much fun would it be if Ken or Jim were to appear.

Cranky Little Camperette April 23, 2010 at 12:21 am

[re=562673]Ken Layne[/re]: I believe it was this one: but they don’t have tonight’s Colbert online yet to verify.

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

[re=562683]Jim89048[/re]: i had the same thought after i saw the segment. oh witty banter and trucknutz and maybe a cheney blingee on the big screen behind the desk?

Mr Blifil April 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

In space no one can hear you scream…

iwillsavethispatient April 23, 2010 at 12:31 am

[re=562673]Ken Layne[/re]: I emailed tips with a screenshot for you delectation and delight. YOU’RE WELCOME.

legalize everything April 23, 2010 at 12:33 am

Perhaps the Pentagon is finally fulfilling Wonkette’s requests to bomb Texas from space?

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 12:39 am

watching ron paul on the hardball rebroadcast. he really is pretty fucking stupid.

drrty martini April 23, 2010 at 12:41 am

This surely is the first step of the Chinese Moon Wars.

SayItWithWookies April 23, 2010 at 12:43 am

[re=562682]obfuscator[/re]: do kids actually play outside these days? can they find camouflage to fit their fat little asses?

Now that’s a silly question. Yes indeed they do.

And wow, that was a little ranty of me earlier. I feel much better now, though.

Radiotherapy April 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

[re=562686]Mr Blifil[/re]: What the Hal????

DC Hates Me April 23, 2010 at 12:47 am

The Boeing X37B looks similar to the rocket from the Planet of the Apes.

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 12:50 am

[re=562694]SayItWithWookies[/re]: a well-articulated passionate rant based in fact is always preferable to a sign with a picture of barry-as-witchdoctor and other varieties of teatardity.

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 23, 2010 at 1:01 am

[re=562698]DC Hates Me[/re]: Ah, the military is trying to time travel intelligent apes to fight in Afghanistan.

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 23, 2010 at 1:04 am

[re=562684]Cranky Little Camperette[/re]: I have it on TIVO, that is the exact article that Colbert screen captured.

rocktonsammy April 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

teh Pentagon want$ to keep an eye on NASA.

ForTheTurnstiles April 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

related: saw none other than Sara K Smith this evening on a Frontier flight from DIA to SFO. It was Wally Wolf, in case you wondered. Wonkette alumni in space.

SayItWithWookies April 23, 2010 at 1:30 am

[re=562654]memzilla[/re]: I remember something about recon satellites that used to actually drop film canisters that would be caught in mid-air by retrieval vehicles. It sounds like some sort of hallucination now that I write it out, but I swear the Air Force and/or NRO did this. Having a reusable vehicle that could deploy a satellite and then rendezvous with it and bring it (or some of its contents) back to earth would probably be much more reliable.

[re=562700]obfuscator[/re]: Thanks. And look — according to this, the X-37 program was started in the 1990s as a NASA program and moved to Defense (DARPA, even) a few years ago. So the same asshole who told NASA to send a man to Mars without funding gave one of their projects to DARPA to be conducted in secret. Argh.

imissopus April 23, 2010 at 1:32 am

Colbert used my wallpaper?

memzilla April 23, 2010 at 1:39 am

[re=562708]SayItWithWookies[/re]: You are exactmundoly correct. But the Remote Space Shuttle can deploy the unpredictable surveillance, that’s the trick to targeting the brown people.

SayItWithWookies April 23, 2010 at 1:52 am

[re=562710]memzilla[/re]: Well good — we’ll have that Ho Chi Minh on the run in no time.

AddHomonym April 23, 2010 at 1:52 am

They got the REAL birth certificate up in there.

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 1:54 am

[re=562708]SayItWithWookies[/re]: the pentagon space murder ship is a “secret” that has gone through many iterations. people who care know about it, kind of like israel’s nukes.

Escape Goat Nation April 23, 2010 at 2:06 am


Lionel Hutz Esq. April 23, 2010 at 2:08 am

[re=562716]obfuscator[/re]: Wait, is William Atherton in charge of this?

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 2:13 am

[re=562719]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: it’s under “h” for toy.

obfuscator April 23, 2010 at 2:18 am

[re=562708]SayItWithWookies[/re]: it looks like fucking killer whale.

SayItWithWookies April 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

[re=562721]obfuscator[/re]: They could name it Expensive Willy.

Escape Goat Nation April 23, 2010 at 2:37 am

Commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac!

lumpenprole April 23, 2010 at 2:44 am


gurukalehuru April 23, 2010 at 3:13 am

The whole thing that worries me about robots is that so many people have such innocent faith in Asimov’s first law of robotics, which is not any kind of rule at all, but just something he made up, a plot device.
Once robots cross the threshold (not the threshold between just calculating and being able to think independently, I suspect they have crossed that already or will soon) but the threshold between thinking and actually giving a damn, the human race will be fucked.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing for the universe, but it will suck for us.

Smoke Filled Roommate April 23, 2010 at 3:33 am

Oh man, 6, 6, and 6!!!1!

Herman the German April 23, 2010 at 3:39 am

[re=562682]obfuscator[/re]: You forgot to mention the money fetish, the fast food fetish, the Jeebus fetish and the botox face fetish.

Extemporanus April 23, 2010 at 3:56 am

With any luck, this unmanned device should tide God over until the docking problems are resolved with the International Space Sybian.

Can you say “Second Coming”?


hoosiermama April 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

[re=562694]SayItWithWookies[/re]: That was an awesome rant, and the image of coming after someone with mayo on a bun will take a long bit of meditation to fully grasp.

Also, I missed out on the Colbert bump cuz I don’t have cable == will have to watch it on CC site this morning.

TGY April 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

No worries, it’ll be holed by space junk after three days.

WIDTAP April 23, 2010 at 8:31 am

[re=562677]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Re: rant. You have been getting into my meds again, haven’t you? In the words of Miniature Lord Wellington to Jon “Napoleon” Stewart, “Rage on!”

Way Cool Larry April 23, 2010 at 8:36 am

But but but we really did send men to the moon 40 years ago!

betterDeadThanRed April 23, 2010 at 8:52 am

That was Discoverer, our first attempt at reconnaissance satellites. But digital imaging has made film obsolete so there’s no need to return anything.

DoktorZoom April 23, 2010 at 9:08 am

[re=562677]SayItWithWookies[/re]: [re=562682]obfuscator[/re]: Since the Wingtards all agree that the military is the only part of gummint that works, maybe we could turn universal healthcare over to the DOD…

DoktorZoom April 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

[re=562770]DoktorZoom[/re]: ..seeing as how DOD already has socialized medicine for its own people, of course. But that’s not really socialist, it’s just a well-earned reward for Our Warriors.

Stopping before I launch into Rantspace myself…

mustardman April 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

People are already shopping scripts around hollywood about robotic space vampire metrosexuals coming to earth and hanging out with teenagers.

vaporware April 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

This has a neat ‘Intergalactic thinning of the herd’ aurora about it.

Planet Earth Ambassadors Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will be excellent
choices to carry on the Human Race-once the cleansing has been completed.

Scientology Fever-Catch It!

snideinplainsight April 23, 2010 at 9:58 am

I can’t believe this thread has been up since 11pm last night and no one here has used the word “vibrator” yet. You people, you disappoint me.

lawrenceofthedesert April 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

The X-37′s primary mission will be to scatter Francis Gary Powers’ ashes in space.

S.Luggo April 23, 2010 at 10:26 am

Is there an extra charge for carry-on luggage?

canadians for pussy April 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

colbert is on cable and the free teevees here in left wing pinko Canada.

that space car thingee is were the death panels are.

populucious April 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I’m having a bit of a personal crisis here. Many moons ago I was at one of those crazy librul war protests, and there was this dude there going on about how the Air Force was sending secret spaceships up in space to read our minds and our tax returns, and I rolled my eyes and thought, cripes, this kind of shit is why libruls are never taken seriously.

So, the crazy dude was right? Should I start wearing a tinfoil hat?

crapshooter102 April 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

[re=562918]populucious[/re]: No try the triangle tea party variety instead and don’t forget to display your 1040′s and smile.

Neilist April 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

[re=562708]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Wooks: You’re referring to the Corona series of recon satellites, which were the “real,” military version of the early Discovery series.

Both had a film camera system (as opposed to video) that fed the exposed film into a recovery/re-entry capsule in the nose. When the film was used up, the capsule would eject and re-enter. Once/if the parachute opened, it would be snagged out of air (by a C-119 initially).

Because of engagement envelope, the Air Farce had about three chances to snag the parachute before the capsule hit the water an sank.

That was the theory, anyway. A number of the early capsules were lost because the planes were out of position, missed the snag, etc. But the technology worked well enough to fill in the gap before video imaging technology got good enough.

God, I miss the Good Old Days. You know, when the Air Farce could spend BA-ZILLIONS on anything labeled “Anti-Commie”?


nelore April 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Its a flying white elephant put together with huge amounts of duct tape

CessnaDriver April 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

It’s the military version of the old Shuttle C. Anyone remember Shuttle C?

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