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The OPF bays were built for use as space shuttle hangars, where NASA’s fleet of orbiters would undergo maintenance between flights. Bays 1 and 2 are connected, and OPF-3 is located just across the street. The facilities haven’t been used since the shuttles were moved to their new homes at museums and tourist destinations. According to the press release, NASA “currently does not have a mission requirement for the facilities” and thus the agreement “ensures the facilities will again be used for their originally-intended purpose — processing spacecraft.”
The bays will undergo renovations for the program, which are due to be completed in December of this year.
The X-37B OTV itself is a reusable unmanned spacecraft made to enter space aboard a rocket, specifically an Atlas V 501 booster, and then return to Earth and land as a space plane. It is about one-fourth the size of NASA’s space shuttle with a similar landing profile.
originally posted by: Shadowhawk
a reply to: TDawgRex
The don't keep quiet when they launch one. None of the previous X-37 launches have been unannounced. Previous landings took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base (not someplace in the desert), but they have been planning to recover future missions at the old Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. This will save significant time and costs involved with recycling the spacecraft for its next mission.