It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
U.S. Air Force and Boeing Co. engineers will thoroughly review the performance of the first X-37B space plane before committing to launching a duplicate vehicle in the spring of 2011, according to Pentagon officials.
Wrapping up a secret mission in orbit, the unmanned spacecraft glided back to Earth Dec. 3 and made a pinpoint landing on a 15,000-foot-long runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The space plane, also called the Orbital Test Vehicle, launched April 22 on a conventional expendable Atlas 5 rocket and circled Earth for nearly 225 days, but much of its activities the last eight months are classified. The Air Force says the flight was focused on proving the craft could operate in space and survive a fiery return to the ground.
Originally posted by Happyfeet
I believe this craft is testing the viability of dropping space based kinetic weapons, mainly bunker busters, and that is to be one of it's chief payloads. I also wonder what the power plant on this thing is considering that it doesn't appear to have any ability to deploy solar arrays.
The Boeing X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle is an American unmanned spacecraft. It is operated by the United States Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. The X-37 is a reusable robotic spaceplane that is a 120% scaled derivative of the X-40A. It has a length of over 29 ft (8.9 m) and features two angled tail fins.
The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, then was transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2004. It had its first flight as a drop test on 7 April 2006, at Edwards Air Force Base. The spaceplane's first orbital mission, USA-212 was launched on 22 April 2010 using an Atlas V rocket. Its return to Earth on 3 December 2010 was the first test of the vehicle's heat shield and hypersonic aerodynamic handling.
Originally posted by boyg2004
This is REAL, by the way. Spaceflight Now is a very respectable site.
Next, look at the landing gear of the real x-37.
Originally posted by jra
Originally posted by Violater1
Also note the Ammonia vent in the enlargement of the photo at
Then read this:
Ammonia is used on the Space Shuttle and ISS as a coolant for getting rid of unwanted heat. I would imagine that the X-37 is no different.
Robonaut 2 robot is very close to humans from the structure, with a human torso, head and arms, is a joint NASA and General Motors design, planning to complete the International Space Station to help astronauts work and maintenance tasks sporadic.