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X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV)

antigravite

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Hi everyone.
I couldn't find anywhere outlines, sideviews of Nasa+Darpa+USAF's X-37 (with dimensions).
Only 3D artistic renderics and "old" 2003-2004 pictures.
Could anybody help?

AG
 

flateric

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it's not X-37B OTV, but anyway would be of help for someone.
 

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flateric

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some extra old stuff
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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Antigravite,

Are you making a model too? I was going to also. However I'll have to defer that little project until the holiday break. Homework, for now. If you are, I'd like to see the results.

Moonbat
 

antigravite

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Yes, I need to make a model of X-37 but have to prepare the workflow well in advance of other illustrative works I'm sucked in. Antigravite is a advanced art & design studio. More to come soon...
 

archipeppe

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antigravite said:
Yes, I need to make a model of X-37 but have to prepare the workflow well in advance of other illustrative works I'm sucked in. Antigravite is a advanced art & design studio. More to come soon...

I hope that the enclosed 3-views could be useful to you....

Cheers
Giuseppe
 

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antigravite

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Beyond my expectations. Thank you!!!!
Designing the aft will be tricky.

Also found something interesting in:
US patent #6,676,077
Title: High temperature resistant airfoil apparatus for a hypersonic space vehicle
Abstract: A ruddervator for an aerospacecraft including a monolithic, one-piece, oxide/oxide-based ceramic matrix composite (Oxide-CMC) shell having a hollowed interior area. A graphite composite structural member is inserted into the hollowed interior area and bonded thereto. The Oxide-CMC shell is comprised of one or more plies of Oxide-CMC fabric which are fused over a thick substrate of rigid ceramic foam insulation to form the monolithic shell. An outer mold line ply of the Oxide-CMC shell is further infused with a high-emissivity coating such as reaction-cured glass (RCG) to provide plasma heating re-radiation outward to reduce internal temperatures in the ruddervator. A torque box transition structure is secured to the graphite composite structural member to interface the ruddervator to a fuselage actuator spindle of the aerospacecraft. The ruddervator is reusable and formed from a reduced number of independent component parts, and weighs less than previously developed ruddervators. The manufacturing cost of the ruddervator is reduced by utilizing the reduced tooling complexities of Oxide-CMC over CMC fabrication processes.
Inventors: DiChiara, Jr.; Robert A. (Carlsbad, CA), French; Robert E. (San Gabriel, CA), Thatcher; Conley Siddoway (Placentia, CA), Zadorozny; Edward A. (Redondo Beach, CA), Hogenson; Peter A. (Long Beach, CA)
Assignee: The Boeing Company (Chicago, IL)
Appl. No.: 09/703,947
Filed: November 1, 2000
Issued: January 13, 2004
 

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flateric

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X-37 ruddervator and some extra graphics that can be of use
 

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airrocket

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What the heck.....am I seeing seats in this pic (green) as in a manned version???? Was there ever a manned version designed? X-37 is not big enough to fit human cargo?
 

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flateric

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It was possible a study of one ACRV variants ca. end of 90s, was also considered as one of Boeing OSP candidates.
 

antigravite

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In 2003, as part of NASA's Orbital Spaceplane (OSP) competition, Boeing presented a manned SMV concept basedon the X-40 - X-37 (actually Rockwell "Refly") planform.
This manned concept was based on other background work: earlier Boeing studies on an experimental orbital fighter generically called "Experimental Manned Space Maneuvring Vehicle" (XF-SMV).
 

flateric

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To add, attached is Boeing's high L/D OSP concept study.
 

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flateric

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What's the satus of the project? It's an April already, and still no signs of "launch in late 2009 or early 2010 atop an Atlas V rocket from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station."

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0812/19sdo/
 

flateric

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The mission will use an Atlas V Eastern Range slot that had been reserved for the launch of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. That flight is now slated for February-March 2009 (AW&ST July 28, p. 30).

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/aw080408p2.xml&headline=USAF%20To%20Launch%20First%20Spaceplane%20Demonstrator&channel=awst

Oh, Andreas comes to clarify

The first flight of the X-37B, to be launched on top of an Atlas V booster, was originally scheduled for late 2008, but has been postponed serveral times. At the time of this writing, quoted time frames include late 2009 or even 2010.
 

SOC

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First flight is scheduled for April 2010:

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/091022-x37b-testlaunch.html
 

circle-5

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A couple of semi-relevant X-37 photos I took at Mojave airport, about three years ago.
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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Small update. The new Air & Space is also mentioned here.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0911/24otv/
 

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GeorgeA

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I've never understood why two X numbers were allocated to what was essentially one program (X-37 and X-40). Conversely, three very different vehicles evolved under the same X number (X-43). I suppose it might have something to do with the early NASA interest in the concept.
 

quellish

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airrocket said:
X-37 shows up piggy back on numerous DOD TSTO hypersonic concepts.

I'm not sure I see the point of this program. What is it actually demonstrating that's a "hard" enough to justify the expense? Nothing that I can see. Sure, the H2O2/JP engine is nice and all, but not that nice. It's no more useful than a straight expendable launcher for putting something up, and the bring back capability isn't too hot either. It's not made for closure and rendezvous, which rules out a lot of things. There's nothing about it that I can see which would justify an orbital flight test.

Or am I missing something here?
 

Matej

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The original X-37B goal was primarily to test the new heat shield with internal heatproof material, covered with the sandwich chromnickel steel Inconel 617 during the real space flight. It should increase the mechanical resistance and also be waterproof, but I am not sure, if it is installed on the vehicle yet.
 

quellish

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blackstar said:
You are not the only one. It is a very confusing program.

The only thing "significant" I can see is the propulsion system. A throttleable, restartable, storable propulsion system would make some sense if this were an operational vehicle that they planned to keep on orbit a while. I could maybe see this being used to service Orbital Express operational satellites, but why make it reusable?
 

airrocket

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It gives the air force a reusable spacecraft with a good cross range and the ability to land on a runway. Our current fleet of military support satellites are very vulnerable. We need a quick launch scenario to back-up, replace and repair our obvious inherent weakness...space based technology. This is now our weakest link. Take out our eyes and communication system in the sky and our modern electronic based military is suddenly crippled.
 

quellish

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airrocket said:
It gives the air force a reusable spacecraft with a good cross range and the ability to land on a runway. Our current fleet of military support satellites are very vulnerable. We need a quick launch scenario to back-up, replace and repair our obvious inherent weakness...space based technology. This is now our weakest link. Take out our eyes and communication system in the sky and our modern electronic based military is suddenly crippled.

Since it's married to an existing expendable launcher, it doesn't really satisfy orbit on demand. The payload is too small to replace any existing critical infrastructure. It doesn't buy you anything over just using an expendable launcher for these scenarios.

The original SMV/X-40 requirements are here:
http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/msp.htm

" * Up to 1,200 pounds of sensors/payload
* 72-hours or less turnaround time between missions
* Up to 12 month on-orbit mission duration
* Rapid recall from orbit
* Up to 10,000 feet per second on-orbit velocity change for maneuvering "

These are still pretty odd requirements. I get the feeling that there is a more specific application/payload in mind, and something significant enough for USAF to keep pursuing this program for so many years.
 

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Wonder if they're finally getting SAINT.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/saint.htm
 

Orionblamblam

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The thing that gets me is the reusability. It's not a launch vehicle... it's just a payload shroud with some maneuver capacity. And what payload *up* *there* is worth bringing back?
 

Jos Heyman

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On 7 April 2006, as part of the Approach and Landing Test Vehicle (ALTV), the X-37A was released from Scaled Composites’ White Knight vehicle at an altitude of 11.3 km to glide back to Edwards AFB in California. During the landing it rolled off the runway, damaging the nose wheel. Earlier, on 2 September 2004, 21 July 2005 and 24 March 2006 captive flights with the White Knight vehicle had been conducted.
Following that the program moved from Mojave to Palmdale, California where, again using the White Knight, five or more additional flights were performed, at least one of which is believed to have been a freeflight with a successful landing.
Does anybody know the dates of these flights.
 

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airrocket said:
It gives the air force a reusable spacecraft with a good cross range and the ability to land on a runway. Our current fleet of military support satellites are very vulnerable. We need a quick launch scenario to back-up, replace and repair our obvious inherent weakness...space based technology. This is now our weakest link. Take out our eyes and communication system in the sky and our modern electronic based military is suddenly crippled.

Ok, I'll bite. How is a reusable payload fairing enabling any new capabilities? ;)
I don't know if it's that useful to keep an X-37 in orbit for a few weeks and operate a satellite (or instruments) in the bay, then bring it back, when you could launch a new satellite that could stay in orbit for a decade? A real satellite would probably weigh one third, meaning less launch cost as well. Think Pegasus instead of Atlas, which already gives great launch position and direction flexibility since it's air-launched and the plane can fly around.

I mean I can see the possibility for the usefulness, but it's not obvious to me. You have to balance between these two choices.
 

airrocket

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I think one needs to look at the current booster as being available for testing not as the end game plan. I have seen several renderings and studies over the past 10 years mating the X-37 to various first stage TSTO flyback boosters. Having been involved in a subscale DOD related project proposal (didn't make the cut) I can assure you that the air force has future plans that exceed what you are presently seeing in this white world test program. I see the X-37 as a reuseable space vehicle with multi-role capability looking for a booster to complete its intended mission. For the time being this is a way for the air force to acquire funds to keep there little baby alive and kicking.

HRRLS
C/SIC Ruddervatgor (X-37)
AFOSR


http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/8027/2/SSEC_SB1_ppt.pdf
 

robunos

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http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/8027/2/SSEC_SB1_ppt.pdf

XLNT!! Love that 'Sentinel' vehicle, two X-43s. back to back.....


cheers,
Robin.
 

mz

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airrocket said:
I think one needs to look at the current booster as being available for testing not as the end game plan. I have seen several renderings and studies over the past 10 years mating the X-37 to various first stage TSTO flyback boosters. Having been involved in a subscale DOD related project proposal (didn't make the cut) I can assure you that the air force has future plans that exceed what you are presently seeing in this white world test program. I see the X-37 as a reuseable space vehicle with multi-role capability looking for a booster to complete its intended mission. For the time being this is a way for the air force to acquire funds to keep there little baby alive and kicking.

HRRLS
C/SIC Ruddervatgor (X-37)
AFOSR


http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/8027/2/SSEC_SB1_ppt.pdf

With reusables then indeed all bets are off. You get high flight rate and low cost per kg and then it starts making sense to bring back the satellite. I distinctly remember a DARPA RLV program within the last half year calling industry to submit something, though the specifications for the vehicle concept were overly narrow, but can't seem to locate the news piece...
 
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