Russian Military Plans On Launching Weaponized Space Plane

First Posted: Jul 15, 2016 04:55 AM EDT

The Russian military is claiming progress on a space plane similar to the X-37B robotic mini-shuttle of the US Air Force. Governments and private companies are working on space planes that can launch rockets or runways, and boost into orbit for a period of time before coming back to earth.

While the tech is basic, considering how many companies are developing them, Kremlin is proposing to have their space plane with nukes.

The Daily Beast noted that this is a gross violation of international laws - something that Russia should be more conscious of, considering that it wasn't too long ago that they accused the United States of weaponizing space by sending up the versatile X-37B - a remote-controlled version of the Space Shuttle only a quarter of its weight, and could, in theory, bring weapons.

Little is known about the actual design of the spacecraft, but according to Popular Mechanics, it could weigh "between 20 and 25 metric tons." This is not much for a plane, roughly the mass of an F/A-18E Super Hornet, but it is supposed to carry at least one nuclear weapon and also fly like an aircraft, carrying itself into space, then return to base all on its own.

Sputnik News also added that the engine is expected to be showcased at the Army-2016 International Military Technology Forum this September Lt. Col. Aleksei Solodovnikov said, "The idea is that the bomber will take off from a normal home airfield to patrol Russian airspace. Upon command it will ascend into outer space, strike a target with nuclear warheads and then return to its home base."

He also added that the jet will be capable of doing all that, and will need only one to two hours to reach any place on earth through its position in outer space.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics