U.S. AIR FORCE TO LAUNCH SECRETIVE X-37B SPACE PLANE IN OCTOBER

Fox News on September 25, 2012, published a Space.com report on the U.S. military’s hush-hush robotic X-37B space plane which is slated to blast off again next month, Air Force officials say. The mission will test the robotic spacecraft’s reusability and may eventually land on the Florida runway once used for NASA space shuttles.

The X-37B space plane ’s next mission — called Orbital Test Vehicle-3, or OTV-3, because it is the program’s third-ever spaceflight — is scheduled to launch aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) sometime in October.

That maiden voyage of the miniature space plane lasted 225 days. It launched into orbit on April 22, 2010, and then landed on Dec. 3 of that year, zooming in on autopilot over the Pacific Ocean and gliding down onto a specially prepared runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

A different X-37B vehicle made a similar Vandenberg touchdown this past June 16, having stayed in orbit for 469 days on its OTV-2 mission.

The X-37B program is being run by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The two space planes — which are 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide, with a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed — were built by Boeing Government Space Systems.

“One of the most promising aspects of the X-37B is it enables us to examine a payload system or technology in the environment in which it will perform its mission and inspect them when we bring them back to Earth,” Bunko said. “Returning an experiment via the X-37B OTV enables detailed inspection and significantly better learning than can be achieved by remote telemetry alone.”

While both previous X-37B missions touched down at Vandenberg, the Air Force is considering landing future flights at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, next door to the Cape Canaveral launch site.

Advertisements

One Response to “U.S. AIR FORCE TO LAUNCH SECRETIVE X-37B SPACE PLANE IN OCTOBER”

  1. Shan Says:

    I conceive this web site holds very wonderful composed written content articles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: