Blackstar (avion spațial)

SR-3 Blackstar
Tip Avion spațial de recunoaștere
Constructor Boeing/Lockheed Martin
Zbor inaugural
Beneficiar principal National Reconnaissance Office
Bucăți fabricate
Dezvoltat din XB-70 Valkyrie

Blackstar este numele de cod al unui sistem secret de avioane spațiale orbitale dezvoltat de Statele Unite ale Americii. Posibila existență a proiectului Blackstar a fost pentru prima dată publicată în presa americană în martie 2006 de către revista de specialitate Aviation Week & Space Technology (cunoscută și ca Aviation Week, sau adesea sub acronimul AWST). The magazine reported that the program had been underway since at least the early 1990s, and that the impetus for Blackstar was to allow the United States Government to retain orbital reconnaissance capabilities jeopardised following the 1986 Challenger disaster. The article also said that the United States Air Force's Space Command were unaware of Blackstar, suggesting it was operated by an intelligence agency such as the National Reconnaissance Office.[1][2]

Aviation Week speculated that such a spacecraft could also have offensive military capabilities (a concept colloquially known as "The Space Bomber" [3][4]). The magazine also stated that it was likely that Blackstar would be mothballed, although it is unclear whether this is due to cost or failure of the program.

The Aviation Week report was a few days later dismissed as "almost certainly bogus" and the project termed a "technical absurdity" by Jeffrey F. Bell in an article in Spacedaily.

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