I agree that night landings will cause less concern about the surface wind direction. In addition, from watching the videos of the X-37B land,
appears to come in pretty fast. To me this would mean the wind direction is less of a driver since they may be landing at 200+ ktas and winds would
likely be less than 30 kt which is a big difference in magnitude.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand the orbital vehicles that run a polar orbit (and X-37B 2nd flight did not do this) deorbit on a
northeast to southwest trajectory - since they launch heading south and the earth rotates in away that makes the vehicle have a negative easting
I understand there may be enough energy and wing area to bank into a landing from a southwest heading and then approach runway 30, but using Edwards
AFB as a backup runway would seem unlikely if you land going northwest?
FMI: Polar Orbiting Satellites
edit on 2-7-2012 by TAGBOARD