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We Have No Idea What the Spy Plane SpaceX Shot into Space Is

Elon Musk is a serious man who loves to lean into silly rumors. He faked us out about building Iron Man suits; we all thought he was joking about tunneling under California; and when asked about so-called “chemtrails,” he tweeted a tongue-in-cheek response. Helping to launch a secret spy plane into orbit for “trials” and “experiments” sounds like another silly rumor, but it’s indeed very serious, and we have no idea what SpaceX is up to.

The X-37B is the US Air Force’s mysterious space plane — it looks like a mini space shuttle without windows — and while that’s more or less all we know about the vehicle, we do know the craft is used to test different flight technologies, like autonomy. We just don’t know for what exact purpose.

It’s not an X Files still. It’s the X-37B.

We also know that the X-37B’s fifth mission began with a successful launch aboard a SpaceX rocket. Now, because there are no official details, we can speculate. SpaceX probably just won the bid to carry the craft to its test and that was that. But…what if the space plane was actually scouting potential locations for another of Musk’s lairs? (He has to have more than one by now, right?) Dan and I are breaking down this news and more in today’s Muskwatch.

Also on the show today, NASA thinks we could curb a potential apocalypse and generate energy at the same time, Musk has some grim words about the true threat level of artificial intelligence, and we get our best look yet at SpaceX’s spacesuit!

Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesdaybut you can hack the planet and watch it two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. Find out how you can get 30 days free (and be 48 hours smarter than your dumb friends) right here.

What do you think of this week’s top stories? What else would you like to see us discuss on Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: US Air Force

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