X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Successfully Launched | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 07.20.15

Airborne 07.21.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 07.20.15

Airborne 07.21.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Thu, Dec 13, 2012

X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Successfully Launched

Air Force Officials Say The Re-Usable Spacecraft Is Designed To Be In Orbit Nine Months

The U.S. Air Force successfully launched its third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle December 11, officials said. The launch from Cape Canaveral's (FL) Launch Complex 41 comes on the heels of the successful flight of OTV-2, which made an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, June 11 after a record 469 days in space.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the strides we've made in this program and the success of the X-37B vehicle on the first two flights," said Richard McKinney, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space. "However, it is important to keep in mind that this is an experimental vehicle and a third mission is still relatively young for a test program. This is the first re-flight of a vehicle so that is certainly a key objective for us. We have only just begun what is a very systematic checkout of the system."
 
Lieutenant Colonel Tom McIntyre, X-37B program manager for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, explained the third X-37 flight will not only help the Air Force better evaluate and understand the vehicle's performance characteristics, but this first re-flight is an important step in the program. OTV-1 launched in April 2010 and spent 224 days in orbit before going through the refurbishment process prior to being prepped for this mission, he said. "This mission will incorporate the lessons learned during the refurbishment process on OTV-1," said Lieutenant Colonel McIntyre. "As the X-37B program is examining the affordability and reusability of space vehicles, validation through testing is vital to the process. We are excited to see how this vehicle performs on a second flight."
 
"The X-37B OTV is designed for an on-orbit duration of approximately 9 months," said Lieutenant Colonel McIntyre. "As with previous missions, actual duration will depend on the execution of test objectives, on-orbit vehicle performance, and conditions at the landing site."
 
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is led by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, and is designed to demonstrate reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth. Technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing.

Officials anticipate multiple missions will be required to satisfy the test program objectives, but the exact number of missions has not been determined.

(Images provided by United Launch Alliance)

FMI: www.af.mil


Advertisement

More News

AeroSports Update: Medical Rules For Pilots Without Medicals

Sport Pilots And Glider Pilots Flying Without Medicals Must Comply With Fit-For-Flight Rules In a letter sent to all U.S. Senators, the Airline Pilots Association’s (ALPA) pr>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (07.29.15)

Homebuilt Homepage The Homebuilt Homepage is an index and reference on Homebuilt Experimental class aircraft and related information. This is a non-profit website.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.29.15): Expect Departure Clearance Time

The time issued to a flight to indicate when it can expect to receive departure clearance. EDCTs are issued as part of Traffic Management Programs, such as a Ground Delay Program (>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (07.29.15)

“The avionics repair shop industry in the U.S. has only 53 months remaining to equip the entire general aviation fleet of more than 100,000 aircraft with ADS-B Out equipment.>[...]

ANN FAQ: Getting The Word Out

Things To Know When You Send A News Release Aero-News gets hundreds of releases every week, ranging from industry giants like Boeing and Cessna to the smallest of flying clubs and >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC