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Air Force to launch Boeing 'mystery' spacecraft

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posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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Air Force to launch Boeing 'mystery' spacecraft


www.king5.com

LOS ANGELES - After a decade of development, the Air Force this month plans to launch a robotic spacecraft resembling a small space shuttle to conduct technology tests in orbit and then glide home to a California runway.

The ultimate purpose of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle and details about the craft, which has been passed between several government agencies, however, remain a mystery as it is prepared for launch April 19 from Cape Canaveral, Fla
(visit the link for the full news article)

Mod Edit: Breaking News Forum Submission Guidelines – Please Review This Link.



[edit on 6/4/2010 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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Could this be the beginning of revealing several new platforms for both the AF and NASA?

I find it interesting that it can stay in orbit for 270 days then return via runway. Ooohhh the applications that this could have.

I wonder if it contains a serviceable crew quarters and if it plans to orbit higher than the ISS?

I seem to have more questions than answers at this point. Hopefully someone a little bit closer to the project will speak up and shed some light on this vehicle.

Thanks,
M

www.king5.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

Mod Edit: Breaking News Forum Submission Guidelines – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 6/4/2010 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:24 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:41 PM
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remote controlled aircraft...hmmm i wonder how long they have had that technology?...



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 05:46 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
 


i wish i could give you more than one star.


on topic:

the X-37 was first and foremost a NASA project, but they couldn't keep at it due to lack of funds. the conspiracy here is: what is the Air Force gonna be doing with it? and if they keep at this modus operandi of resurrecting NASA programs from yesteryear, does this mean that we might be seeing a VentureStar launch in a couple of years?

Link

[edit on 4.6.10 by toreishi]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by toreishi
 


What is the Air Force going to do with it?

Orbitally insert Spaceborne or Orbital Assault Troopers anywhere in the world within an hour.

I always wondered why Heinlein's Starship Troopers was on official military reading lists. Now I know and knowing is half the battle. Yo J..Cobraaa!

[edit on 6/4/10 by MikeboydUS]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 07:41 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread.

Although somewhat obtusely expressed previously, this is BAN material too!

In fact, had you not posted it here, many who don't frequent the more specialized forums may well have missed this.

As automation and remote operational systems progresses we may become more adept at exploring space without having to risk lives to do it.

There's no substitute for human perception by being present in space, but we are getting closer and closer all the time.


No error, no foul.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by MikeboydUS
 


ok, you say they're going to use this craft or others like it to deliver personnel anywhere in the world in under an hour. but won't those personnel be burned to a crisp when they get to the ground? or have they come up with personal spacesuits that can keep grunts from being barbecued upon reentry?



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by toreishi
reply to post by MikeboydUS
 


ok, you say they're going to use this craft or others like it to deliver personnel anywhere in the world in under an hour. but won't those personnel be burned to a crisp when they get to the ground? or have they come up with personal spacesuits that can keep grunts from being barbecued upon reentry?


As long as the insertion is done after reentry by the vehicle they'll be fine.

For Spaceborne it will be like a HALO or HAHO jump, but instead of sitting on a C-17 for hours and hours, they'll take off, sit in orbit for about an hour and then reenter the atmosphere. After reentry they'll do a HALO or HAHO jump.

For Orbital Assault, some type of secondary VTOL vehicle carrying troops will deploy after reentry.

At some point though in the future, reentry pods or capsules will probably be developed. They'll come down like meteors. It will be glorious.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 08:22 PM
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I found this in a NASA report

Based upon the X-37 Approach and Landing Test
Vehicle, the X-37 Orbital Vehicle will test key, embedded
technologies and flight experiments in relevant environments
of ascent, on-orbit, reentry and landing phases
of flight. Technologies to be tested include propulsion,
advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection
systems, avionics, high temperature structures,
conformal reusable insulation, and high-temperature
seals. In addition, the X-37 Orbital Vehicle will demonstrate
autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing. The
X-37 Orbital Vehicle is being designed so that it is capable
of orbital operations for periods of up to nine months.

SOURCE: www.nasa.gov...

[edit on 6-4-2010 by DJM8507]

[edit on 6-4-2010 by DJM8507]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 08:26 PM
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I should add this:

SUSTAIN
Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion


Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion or SUSTAIN is a concept first proposed in 2002 by the United States Marine Corps to deploy Marines via spaceflight to any location on Earth.

Project Hot Eagle, launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory, is an investigation into the development and use of suborbital spacecraft to fulfill this vision. Hot Eagle would use a craft based on a design similar to Space Ship One, which could launch a squad on a suborbital trajectory in two stages and deliver them anywhere on two hours' notice.

Extraction would have to come by other means. Future proposed capabilities for the Marine Corps include launching into low earth orbit to choose the time of an attack.

Delivery of soldiers by rocket has been proposed before, including by General John B. Medaris, head of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in the 1950s. The lander itself is designed to hold a 13 man squad and land in almost any terrain at any time, avoiding diplomatic concern for airspace rights.

en.wikipedia.org...(military)

and news articles:
www.military.com...

www.popsci.com...

silly ATS doesn't like these () in the wiki url.

[edit on 6/4/10 by MikeboydUS]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by MikeboydUS
 


Nice work!


I have to say, it doesn't surprise me that a DOD agency like NASA would develop technology applicable to military purposes.

However, at this point it would be a rather expensive proposal, considering the nascent nature of the technology and the current economic environment.

I wonder if the cost would outweigh the benefit?



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by masawa
 

I don't think it's a 'mystery' spacecraft I believe it's part of the "Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE)" a joint research program between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the US Air Force. **It looks like the name of this test Craft has been changed from X-51 to X-37B
could answer the 'mystery' OR there is another Test Flight for the X-51 test Craft


"As long as you're confused you're in good shape," said defense analyst John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org. "I looked into this a couple of years ago - the entire sort of hypersonic, suborbital, scramjet nest of programs - of which there are upwards of a dozen. The more I studied it the less I understood it."

I've been looking into these projects lately too


**U.S. Air Force Set To Begin X-51 Hypersonic Flight Tests 02/26/10
Launched from a B52- pre-test



Zelong.

[edit on 6/4/10 by Zelong]



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