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X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV)

sublight is back

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As an added note, the solar panels would make the atmospheric interface maneuvers she is talking about impossible.
 

edwest

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The full story of this vehicle has not been told.
 

sublight is back

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As an added note, the solar panels would make the atmospheric interface maneuvers she is talking about impossible.
Why? If it can be deployed it can be folded back in the cargo bay.
Its not like an accordion where you can take it out and play with it any time you want. If it jams you have some serious aerodynamic fatalities upon re-entry.
 

edwest

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It should have a jettison capability.
 

sferrin

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As an added note, the solar panels would make the atmospheric interface maneuvers she is talking about impossible.
Why? If it can be deployed it can be folded back in the cargo bay.
Its not like an accordion where you can take it out and play with it any time you want. If it jams you have some serious aerodynamic fatalities upon re-entry.
Says who? For all we know that could be one of the things being tested.
 

seruriermarshal

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USAF: The Air Force’s unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Sunday. “The spaceplane conducted on-orbit experiments for 780 days during its mission, recently breaking its own record by being in orbit for more than 2 years”
 

Flyaway

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Press Release:

The Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility this morning at 3:51 a.m. EST.

X-37B breaks record, lands after 780 days in orbit

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019 at 3:51 a.m.

The spaceplane conducted on-orbit experiments for 780 days during its mission, recently breaking its own record by being in orbit for more than two years. As of today, the total number of days spent on-orbit for the entire test vehicle program is 2,865 days.

“The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. “Each successive mission advances our nation’s space capabilities.”

This is the Air Force’s premier reusable and unmanned spacecraft providing the performance and flexibility to improve technologies in a way that allows scientists and engineers to recover experiments tested in a long-duration space environment.

“The safe return of this spacecraft, after breaking its own endurance record, is the result of the innovative partnership between Government and Industry,” said General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “The sky is no longer the limit for the Air Force and, if Congress approves, the U.S. Space Force.”

Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.

“This program continues to push the envelope as the world’s only reusable space vehicle. With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives,” said Randy Walden, Director, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. “This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites.”

The distinctive ability to test new systems in space and return them to Earth is unique to the X-37B program and enables the U.S. to more efficiently and effectively develop space capabilities necessary to maintain superiority in the space domain.

“This spacecraft is a key component of the space community. This milestone demonstrates our commitment to conducting experiments for America’s future space exploration,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Keen, X-37B program manager. “Congratulations to the X-37B team for a job well done.”

This will be the second time the X-37B landed at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility--Mission 4 landed after 718 days in orbit. The spaceplane was designed for an on-orbit duration of 270 days.

“Today marks an incredibly exciting day for the 45th Space Wing,” said Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess, 45th Space Wing commander. “Our team has been preparing for this event, and I am extremely proud to see their hard work and dedication culminate in today’s safe and successful landing of the X-37B.”

The fifth mission launched on Sept. 7, 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on-board a Space X Falcon 9 booster, and the U.S. Air Force is preparing to launch the sixth X-37B mission from CCAFS in 2020.

Editor's note:

For X-37B imagery go here: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/X37BOTV
 

seruriermarshal

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The US Air Force has released the first images of the X-37B on the Shuttle Landing Facility runway following its landing in the early hours this morning after spending 780 days in space.
 

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rooster

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Couple of questions for you guys.
Is there a follow-on to the x-37? Something larger and more useful? Optionally manned? Or would that become by defacto the Black Horse? Is it possible it could be used as a strike weapon against maritime targets or china's new island bases because it can change its idk what to call it, its flight profile? Could it or a derivative be our first space-bomber? Idk if these are silly questions.
 

In_A_Dream

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Couple of questions for you guys.
Is there a follow-on to the x-37? Something larger and more useful? Optionally manned? Or would that become by defacto the Black Horse? Is it possible it could be used as a strike weapon against maritime targets or china's new island bases because it can change its idk what to call it, its flight profile? Could it or a derivative be our first space-bomber? Idk if these are silly questions.
XS-1?
 

bobbymike

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In a press release after the landing, Walden said the space plane completed all its mission objectives, successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, and provided a ride for small satellites.
The X-37 also is informing whether the Air Force will need a new vehicle to replace it, Walden said
 

martinbayer

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Couple of questions for you guys.
Is there a follow-on to the x-37? Something larger and more useful? Optionally manned? Or would that become by defacto the Black Horse? Is it possible it could be used as a strike weapon against maritime targets or china's new island bases because it can change its idk what to call it, its flight profile? Could it or a derivative be our first space-bomber? Idk if these are silly questions.
There was a concept for a larger X-37C, see https://www.space.com/13230-secretive-37b-space-plane-future-astronauts.html, but nothing came of it.
 
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Forest Green

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edwest

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Well, Smithers. What is your assessment?

Sir, this is a perfect example of tell all, reveal nothing.

Quite, quite.
 

seruriermarshal

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The U.S. Air Force has released an infrared video and additional images from Sunday’s landing of the military’s X-37B spaceplane in Florida after a top secret mission that lasted more than two years.

 

Flyaway

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Watch the X-37B Space Plane's Nighttime Landing After Record 780 Days in Orbit

VideoFromSpace

Oct 28, 2019

The US Air Force's X-37B's Orbital Test Vehicle 5 (OTV-5) mission ended when the space plane landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Oct. 27, 2019.

Credit: 45th Space Wing Public Affairs / mash mix by Space.com's [Steve Spaleta]


 

RanulfC

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July, 2019 somewhere inside NORAD...

"Hey Paul, how's it going"
"Pretty good Ted what's up?
"Just dropping off this months quota of forms and publications"
"OK, cool. Lets see what AV-Leak has this... Hey they have something on the X-37 in or..."
A stunned silence ensues as both speakers look simulataniously shocked, awed and horrified.
Paul whispers, "How long has it been up there?"
After a quick check Ted says "almost two years"
"What are we going to tell everyone? How could we have forgotten it was up there?
"Nothing, we tell them nothing. It was on a 'secret' mission and we tell them nothing else. Damn thing worked so well we just forgot..."

The truth is out there folks :)

Randy
 

sferrin

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I imagine there are a lot of satellites up there that haven't been announced to the world. Also, do they say if they left them in orbit or if the collected them back up and brought them back? But hey, as long as we get to generate a controversy. :rolleyes: (Not you, the author.)
 

edwest

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NASA used to publish a monthly list of debris in orbit.
 

Foo Fighter

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Does it have a cabrio version? The Martian does.
 

RanulfC

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I imagine there are a lot of satellites up there that haven't been announced to the world. Also, do they say if they left them in orbit or if the collected them back up and brought them back? But hey, as long as we get to generate a controversy. :rolleyes: (Not you, the author.)
It's not exactly inconsiquential though, and while I imagine most folks that 'need' to know, (and have the tech to track near-orbit objects) DO know about these and other 'un-reported' satellites the simple fact is those things are now part of the overall orbital "debris" problem itself. The "Convention" is there for a reason after all. More to the point though I suspect it's likely the REASON they weren't reported was to see who DID report and/or comment on them since there's a large (non-professional) network that tracks the X-37's in space such knowledge would be of high interest if they can or do also track anything else.

Randy
 
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