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Why the Bio-Hazard Suits near the X-37B?

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posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:16 PM
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I saw this article today on Space.com

Original Article

When i was looking at the picture provided...

Image

...i was left to question, "why are they wearing full body bio hazard suits?"

At first i thought, maybe they were trying to prevent contamination to the craft, but the craft is outside fully exposed to the environment and all it's contaminants. So the opposite must be the case, that they are protecting themselves from whatever the craft has on it.

What is in space that this craft is being exposed to that is so dangerous that would prompt such safety measures? If it were simply radiation, then respirators and gloves would be enough no? Those suits appear to be Level 4 containment type suits, with independent air supply for the entire body, not just the head.

Since this photo is available for the public to see, i'm sure the answer isn't too exotic, but i'm still curious what the deal is.

*It does appear that one of the people is holding a geiger counter, so i'm leaning mostly towards radiation, but still seems slightly overboard to have full body air supply.*
edit on 26-9-2012 by tpsreporter because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by tpsreporter
 


Nukes in space



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Interesting, shifts shady eyes.

"at launch, the space plane was accompanied by staff in biohazard suits, leading to speculation that there were radioactive components on board."
edit on 26-9-2012 by WanderingThe3rd because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by tpsreporter
 


Maybe the suits are to protect them from the residual contaminants from what *had* been in the craft....


Des





edit on 26-9-2012 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by tpsreporter
 


Yup, they are called Level-A suits.

That big yellow thing is not any type of radiation detection equipment currently used by the US armed services. The ones used today are actually quite small. If it was a radiation detector, something that big and yellow would be at least 20 years old. And since it is an Air Force craft, and the X-37B is a big high speed operation. i would imagine they would have the most up to date equipment.

But that's just my opinion.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


The truck says "Boeing" on it, maybe those are Boeing employees?

If that thing is not a radiation detector, what do you think it is? What types of situations warrant the use of the Type-A suits?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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Whatever the reason...it's all top secret. Notice in the photo also, the enclosed air system hooked up to the adjacent truck.

Quote from article.....



X-37B Undergoing Post-Flight Inspection
Technicians inspect the military X37-B space plane after its June 2012 landing, which completed the vehicle's second trip to orbit.
CREDIT: USAF/Boeing
View full size image

The U.S. military's hush-hush robotic X-37B space plane 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.

"Preparations for launch at Cape Canaveral have begun," said Major Tracy Bunko at the Pentagon’s Air Force press desk. "We are on track to launch OTV-3 next month; however, the exact date remains subject to change based on range conditions, weather, etc."

Air Force's Mystery X-37B Robot Spaceship to Launch Today
The U.S. Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is shown inside its payload fairing during encapsulation at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Fla., ahead of a planned April 2010 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
CREDIT: USAF

A mysterious mission

As with the X-37B program's two previous spaceflights — OTV-1 and OTV-2 — OTV-3's payload and mission details are classified. But the focus remains on testing vehicle capabilities and proving the utility and cost-effectiveness of a reusable spacecraft, Bunko told SPACE.com. [Photos: The X-37B Space Plane]

Bunko said in an earlier communiqué that this third flight will use the same X-37B spacecraft that flew the first test flight, the OTV-1 mission, back in 2010.


I bet it's already flown previous *secret* missions, maybe the pilots aren't as robotic as they'd have us think.....

Des



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by Juggernog
reply to post by tpsreporter
 


Nukes in space


I still believe it nuked Elenin.

The time frame was right.. and Elenin did disappear in a cloud.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:49 PM
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If you read underneath the photo it states that they were inspecting the vehicle after it had returned from a mission in June 2012. So maybe they were worried about it bringing some kind of contaminates back from that mission. So the question is was the June mission a test mission or where there other purposes?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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Nukes for sure, I bet top dollar the lower atmosphere has 1000's of MIRV nukes flying around posing as satellites ready for deployment in seconds and detonation over target destinations to EMP the crap out of any Country who can MAD us back.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:52 PM
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I think it to protect the worker form the rocket fuel

Hydrozine or somethink like that
That why they say to be carefull when you find a satellite part.
edit on 26-9-2012 by Trillium because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by Trillium
I think it to protect the worker form the rocket fuel

Hydrozine or somethink like that
That they say to be carefull when you find a satellite part.


That just sounds so normal, and logical...there goes my ET in the craft theory....


Des



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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Hydrazine. Space craft use hydrazine in their orbital maneuvering engines, APUs, and other uses, and it's really really toxic. The F-16 uses it in the Emergency Power Unit that they have in case they lose their engine. If it fires off, the plane has to be parked 100 yards from any other aircraft, and has to sit for four hours before anyone can go near it (after the aircraft is secured). To service the EPU (4-5 hours after the hydrazine has dissipated), you have to wear gloves that go to the shoulder, a face shield, and a full body leather smock, and only two people are allowed to go near the aircraft to service it.


Hydrazine is also used as a low-power monopropellant for the maneuvering thrusters of spacecraft, and the Space Shuttle's auxiliary power units (APUs). In addition, monopropellant hydrazine-fueled rocket engines are often used in terminal descent of spacecraft. Such engines were used on the Viking program landers in the 1970s as well as the Phoenix lander and Curiosity rover which landed on Mars in May 2008 and August 2012, respectively.

In all hydrazine monopropellant engines, the hydrazine is passed by a catalyst such as iridium metal supported by high-surface-area alumina (aluminium oxide) or carbon nanofibers,[26] or more recently molybdenum nitride on alumina,[27] which causes it to decompose into ammonia, nitrogen gas, and hydrogen gas according to the following reactions:



Hydrazine is highly toxic and dangerously unstable, especially in the anhydrous form. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Symptoms of acute (short-term) exposure to high levels of hydrazine may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures, coma in humans. Acute exposure can also damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. The liquid is corrosive and may produce dermatitis from skin contact in humans and animals. Effects to the lungs, liver, spleen, and thyroid have been reported in animals chronically exposed to hydrazine via inhalation. Increased incidences of lung, nasal cavity, and liver tumors have been observed in rodents exposed to hydrazine.[33]

Limit tests for hydrazine in pharmaceuticals suggest that it should be in the low ppm range.[34] Hydrazine may also cause steatosis.[35] At least one human is known to have died, after 6 months of sublethal exposure to hydrazine hydrate.[36]

On February 21, 2008, the United States government destroyed the disabled spy satellite USA 193 with a sea-launched missile, reportedly due to the potential danger of a hydrazine release if it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere intact.[37]

en.wikipedia.org...


Individuals may be exposed to hydrazine in the workplace or to small amounts in tobacco smoke. Symptoms of acute (short-term) exposure to high levels of hydrazine may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures, and coma in humans. Acute exposure can also damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system in humans. The liquid is corrosive and may produce dermatitis from skin contact in humans and animals. Effects to the lungs, liver, spleen, and thyroid have been reported in animals chronically (long-term) exposed to hydrazine via inhalation. Increased incidences of lung, nasal cavity, and liver tumors have been observed in rodents exposed to hydrazine. EPA has classified hydrazine as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.

www.epa.gov...

edit on 9/26/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
To service the EPU (4-5 hours after the hydrazine has dissipated), you have to wear gloves that go to the shoulder, a face shield, and a full body leather smock, and only two people are allowed to go near the aircraft to service it.


Then the suits they are wearing seem overkill no?

Thanks for the answer anyway, i'm sure it is something as simple as this, and find all the theories and answers provided interesting.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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Just totally off the cuff, but what if the X-37B were a target for some type of system that homes in on certain strong sources of radioactivity for target acquisition?

Of course I have no idea, but it is fun to speculate. Great thread and great catch, OP. This is just the type of stuff that brought me to ATS in the first place.



X.
edit on 26-9-2012 by Xoanon because: .



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by Destinyone

Originally posted by Trillium
I think it to protect the worker form the rocket fuel

Hydrozine or somethink like that
That they say to be carefull when you find a satellite part.


That just sounds so normal, and logical...there goes my ET in the craft theory....


Des


Well I did think of adding something about ET to
But I would be Trolling



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by tpsreporter
 


Possibly.

Those suits are used for Nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological hazards.

As Zaphod clearly showed, Hydrazine is nasty stuff. I would not be surprised if there was all kinds of other good stuff in there too. Thermal batteries, guidance systems, countermeasures if it lands in a hostile country. All those things tend to use very hazardous stuff and things.

Since it says they were inspecting it after landing from a mission. It makes sense they would use full precautions in case there was something wrong that their computers were not telling them.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by tpsreporter
 


No, because you did notice the bit about 4-5 hours later, after it's dissipated right? The X-37 ground crew are servicing the vehicle very quickly after landing, which means that the hydrazine is much more concentrated than on the F-16. If you ever watch the FLIR video of the shuttle landing, it's still venting out the APU exhaust after it has come to a stop, and is secured. Which means the full body suits are necessary.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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because of the hydrazine fuel



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Chances are you are right about this, and i'm not trying to argue or say otherwise.....just speculating on it all so please don't take it as anything but that.


When i look at pictures from when the Space Shuttle has landed after a mission, i don't see crew servicing the vehicle in these suits or suits near as protective as this. This vehicle is much smaller than the Space Shuttle so i would venture the ammount of Hydrazine is less in the X-37B than what was present on the Space Shuttle. I could be wrong depending on the mission of the X-37B which we do not know, and might require more ect.

Space Shuttle Post Mission 1
Space Shuttle Post Mission 2

I look at the crew who are working near the thrusters of the Space Shuttle (the most likely point where they could be exposed to Hydrazine) and they have full body suits, but no mask and no independent air supply.

However, the astronauts are being offloaded in a self contained vehicle.

of course don't know how long this is after landing.






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