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X-37B readying for OTV-3 flight

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posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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The X-37B is preparing to launch in late October on mission OTV-3. As usual no word on what will be going on in orbit, except the usual "further testing", or how long the mission will go on. An Atlas V was assembled Sept 13-15 in the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral.

The launch date is scheduled for October 25th, and will be the second flight for this particular X-37, which flew OTV-1 and was in orbit for 224 days, 9 hours, and 24 minutes. No time has been given for the launch.


The bronze first stage of the vehicle was erected atop the mobile launch platform inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral on Thursday, Sept. 13.

After setting the interstage adapter hardware in place, the Centaur upper stage was hoisted high into the assembly building on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The upcoming spaceflight will be the second for this particular X-37B vehicle, which spent 224 days, 9 hours and 24 minutes aloft between April and December 2010 on the inaugural OTV shakedown cruise.

A second vehicle spent 468 days, 13 hours and 2 minutes on a voyage from March 2011 to this past June that circled the globe more than 7,000 times.

www.spaceflightnow.com...




posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I got the impression that you might think the US has more than one of these? I'm only aware of the one.
Are there more?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


There are two. The one that flew the first flight is readying now for OTV-3, which launches on October 25th. It stayed in orbit 224 days on the first flight. The second one flew OTV-2, and stayed up for 469 days.
edit on 9/26/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Thanks for the clarification. I knew they had flew a smaller prototype earlier. I wasn't aware of two full sized crafts.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:26 PM
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Hmm..lets see what transpired on earth when it was launched the last time and landed back
I am ever so curious.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:45 PM
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I guess we could make deductions about what it's for, based on the possible size and mass of the payload, and the periods required to prep the craft before each flight...



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by XeroOne
 


The payload bay is tiny, only about the size of a pickup truck bed. The entire vehicle is barely taller than the people servicing it. In fact they said that the two of them would fit nicely into the bed of the shuttle.

As for the turn around time, it's supposed to be able to fly again within a couple of months, but they're giving them plenty of time between missions so far. This particular vehicle landed in December of 2010.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


We also know it's unlikely the craft is up there to deploy anything, as the thing spends months in orbit. My guess is the craft is a satellite.

If a government wants a spy satellite watching specific targets without anyone knowing, they'd need equipment that collects data but doesn't broadcast it. They'd have to bring the equipment back down and pull the data off it.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by XeroOne
 


Most likely it is, based on the orbit of OTV-1. The initial orbit passed over the same location every two days, and later orbit changes put it over every three days.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Thanks for the clarification. I knew they had flew a smaller prototype earlier. I wasn't aware of two full sized crafts.


The smaller prototype was the X-40

also NASA used a X-37A for glide testing
edit on 26-9-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)





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