The secret X-37B military spacecraft, launched one month ago, has been found by amateur satellite watchers. The X-37B is much smaller than the Space Shuttle yet is able to fly extended missions of up to nine months and can move between orbits with relative ease. There has been a great deal of speculation as to the purpose of the X-37B, but all the US Air Force will say is that it does not have direct offensive capabilities. However, it could be used for reconnaissance, as a glorified spysat, or even visit enemy satellites to abduct or tamper with them. While the militarisation of space is utterly deplorable, my inner 12 year old can’t help standing up and shouting “COOL!”.
According to the satellite watchers who found X-37B, it is currently at an orbit which makes it visible to observers between latitudes of 45° North and 45° South. For visibility charts and times of X-37B (and most other bright satellites), log in to http://www.heavens-above.com/.