USAF X-37B Spaceplane Prepares For Inaugural Test Launch | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 04.23.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.23.14 **
** Airborne 04.21.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.21.14 **
** Airborne 04.18.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.18.14 **

Mon, Mar 01, 2010

USAF X-37B Spaceplane Prepares For Inaugural Test Launch

Prototype Unmanned Vehicle Arrives At Cape Canaveral

The USAF X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle arrived in Florida this week to begin processing in anticipation of an April 19 launch aboard an Atlas V rocket.  The robotic spacecraft is a continuation of the X-37 program originally designed by NASA to test next-generation spaceflight technologies and transferred to DARPA in 2004.

Built by Boeing's Phantom Works division, the reusable X-37B is designed to test airframe, propulsions, and operational technologies. The robotic vehicle will conduct orbital and reentry operations and experiments at speeds around Mach 25.

ANN previously reported that an earlier vehicle, the X-37A, conducted drop tests from Scaled Composites' WhiteKnight carrier aircraft in 2006.  The vehicle was damaged during landing on one of those tests.

The 29 ft long, 15 ft wide X-37B is scheduled to land at at Vandenberg AFB in CA with Edwards AFB acting as the backup landing site.  No information has been given by the Air Force as to the payload, mission, or duration for this flight.

"The X-37B has the requirement to be on-orbit up to 270 days," an Air Force spokesperson told SpaceFlightNow.com. "Actual length for the first mission will depend on the meeting the mission objectives, which consists of checkout and performance characteristics of the spacecraft systems."

Speculation as to the military applications of the X-37 program increased when it was discovered that a USAF fact sheet noted that the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) is now listed as a project partner.  Theories range from fast-response communications and imaging to an orbital weapons platform.

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Luftwaffe Ju 52 Discovered On The Bottom Of The Black Sea

Plane Disappeared 67 Years Ago On Transport Mission To The Eastern Front A plane missing since 1942 has been discovered in about 75 feet of water in the Black Sea has been identifi>[...]

AD: British Aerospace Regional Aircraft Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-07-09 PRODUCT: British Aerospace Regional Aircraft Jetstream Series 3101 and Jetstream Model 3201 airplanes.>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-08-04 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A310 series airplanes.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (04.24.14)

South Bay Soaring Society The South Bay Soaring Society (SBSS) is a non-profit radio controlled glider club based in San Jose, CA. They have flying sites in San Jose, Santa Clara, >[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.24.14): Dew Point (Abbrev. DWPT)

A measure of atmospheric moisture. It is the temperature to which air must be cooled in order to reach saturation (assuming air pressure and moisture content are constant).>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC