A few days ago I posted a blog about the USAF's robotic space shuttle, the X-37. There's more news about this bit of technology, and it's here:
Note that statement in the article that "almost everything the unmanned space plane does while in orbit is classified. All of the research objectives are also guarded by the military." I find all this very disturbing, to say the least, for with the Obama Administration's cancellation of the manned Moon program and the Constellation, and the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle, it appears that the American space program is gearing up - for some reason - for a more military approach and presence in space and space experimentation.
One wonders, too, just exactly what sorts of experiments need to be done in space and that need to be kept classified. We can guess at some: whatever they're doing, they require the zero-gravity conditions of space, perhaps to test new methods of fabrication of materials, the growth of crystals in zero gravity, and so on.
Currently we're told about only two of these vehicles, and their nearly year-long missions. But again, I suspect we may be looking at the tip of a larger iceberg, namely, more of these vehicles than we're being told about, and more of the classified experiments - whatever they are - than we're being told about.