X-37B orbit uncovered

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Space hobbyists have pinpointed the classified initial orbit of the recently launched X-37B.

Observers this week spotted the craft flying overhead in a 194 by 202 mile orbit (312 X 325 km), tilted 38 degrees relative to the equator. That perch is lower than previous X-37B missions and the inclination is lower, too.

“OTV 4 entered the lowest initial altitude of the program,” said Ted Molczan, a respected satellite observing hobbyist. “The ground track nearly repeats every 2 days. Frequently repeating ground tracks have been a common feature of the program. This could be an indication of a surveillance mission, or it may offer some operational advantage I have yet to figure out.”

Not much else has as yet been uncovered.

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