Skip to comments.AF's X-37B Historical Landing Advances Space Vehicle Technologies
Posted on 12/08/2010 9:06:47 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
After 244 days in space since its launch April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the X-37B orbital test vehicle landing marks the Air Force's latest step in experimental test missions to improve the service's space capabilities, officials said here Dec. 6.
The 11,000-pound OTV made an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m., allowing the Air Force to begin evaluation of its functions as a satellite communications, weather and material technology asset, said Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs Richard McKinney.
"We're in a very serious and important business of providing national security space capabilities for our nation," Mr. McKinney said. "Some of those capabilities are state-of-the-art, highly complex and very technical, ... and for its first flight, we're extremely pleased with the outcome of the X-37B."
Mr. McKinney said the ability to examine such high-tech technologies as space situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and satellite development before they're made operational is a long-sought-after capability that the X-37B provides.
"Now we can test those capabilities long in advance of putting them in operational space," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at asdnews.com ...
For those interested:
Video: X-37B Landing at Vandenberg AFB
As well as the Post Landing Inspection Video:
Historical landing? Guess they ignore the Soviet Buran shuttle landing and the fact that the US Space Shuttle practically lands itself.
Neither of those craft were on orbit for a seven month stretch.
I have not seen video of the landing or inspection of the craft. Thank you for posting this.
In case you don’t know, you could track OTV-1 at this site:
I assume we will be able to also track OTV-2 this spring, at least when the AF allows the public to know the vehicle’s location...
Ok, then substitute the Soyuz, since they have remained in orbit for more than 7 months at a time. Still a stretch to call this a historic flight.