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Keyword: spaceplane

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  • SpaceLiner: Europe-Australia, 90 minutes, Europe-US, one hour

    08/20/2015 1:29:36 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 7 replies ^ | 08-20-2015 | by Nancy Owano
    In aviation circles, the talk of the future involves phrases like "space planes" and "hypersonic atmospheric flight vehicles." A group presently in the spotlight is from Germany; they are carrying a roadmap for low-cost space access which involves calling upon the air passenger market for fast-travel flights. Welcome to the world of SpaceLiner, which, when fully developed, could have dramatic impact in global aerospace. The DLR Institute of Space Systems said this suborbital, hypersonic, winged passenger transport idea is under investigation at DLR-SART. (DLR is a German aerospace research agency and it evaluates complex systems of space flight. SART is...
  • The UK spaceplane aiming to go to a new level

    08/02/2009 3:40:21 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 2 replies · 309+ views
    BBC News ^ | 07/30/09 | Jonathan Amos
    If there is one British space project that has the capacity to inspire at the moment then surely it is Skylon.
  • Space Plane Tech Could Power Hypersonic Aircraft for US Military

    08/19/2014 12:25:27 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies ^ | August 18, 2014 07:00am ET | Rob Coppinger,
    Engine technology being developed for a British space plane could also find its way into hypersonic aircraft built by the U.S. military. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is studying hypersonic vehicles that would use the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which the English company Reaction Engines Ltd. is working on to power the Skylon space plane, AFRL officials said. "AFRL is formulating plans to look at advanced vehicle concepts based on Reaction Engine's heat-exchanger technology and SABRE engine concept," officials with AFRL, which is based in Ohio, told via email last month. ... SABRE burns hydrogen and oxygen....
  • Sabre engine could revolutionise space flight

    11/29/2012 9:54:12 AM PST · by the scotsman · 40 replies
    Engineering and Technology Magazine ^ | 28 November 2012 | Sofia Mitra-Thakur
    'A UK company which hopes to build a re-usable space plane has won an important endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after completing key tests on its novel engine technology. Reaction Engines believes its novel Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on earth to no more than four hours away. That ambition was given a boost this week by ESA, which has acted as an independent auditor on the Sabre test programme. "ESA are...
  • UK Skylon spaceplane passes key review (from runway to orbit)

    05/24/2011 4:06:07 PM PDT · by decimon · 47 replies
    BBC ^ | May 24, 2011 | Jonathan Amos
    A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.The proposed Skylon vehicle would do the job of a big rocket but operate like an airliner, taking off and landing at a conventional runway. The European Space Agency's propulsion experts have assessed the details of the concept and found no showstoppers. They want the next phase of development to include a ground demonstration of its key innovation - its Sabre engine. This power unit is designed to breathe oxygen from the air in the early phases of flight - just like jet engines -...
  • British Space Plane Concept Gets Boost

    03/11/2009 8:28:54 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 22 replies · 2,369+ views ^ | 03/11/09 | Jeremy Hsu
    Launching into orbit could become a little easier and cheaper, thanks to a futuristic space plane that looks like it might have flown straight out of a Star Wars film. The European Space Agency and British government have awarded $1 million euros ($1.28 million dollars) to Reaction Engines Limited (REL), a British aerospace company, as part of a multi-million dollar development program for an air-breathing rocket engine that could power the Skylon spaceplane. The unpiloted, reusable vehicle is designed to take off from an airstrip, deliver cargo into orbit and return to the same runway.
  • Scientology: church, cult or corporation?

    12/13/2013 12:02:05 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 13 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | December 12, 2013 | Tom Rowley
    ...The five justices’ 84-point judgment was strewn with references to 19th-century parliamentary debates and semantic disputes, but their verdict on Wednesday afternoon was clear. The couple would now be free to marry in a Scientology chapel in London, surrounded by their families and the church’s volunteers...[SNIP] There are significant practical benefits, according to Linda Woodhead, a professor of religion at Lancaster University. “There are a lot of political and economic advantages in being categorised as a religion,” she says. “Equality legislation gives protection on the grounds of religion. And if you want to set up a free school, your application...
  • Air Force mystery plane set for next mission

    09/26/2012 5:06:06 PM PDT · by justlurking · 16 replies
    ABC News via Yahoooooo! ^ | 2012-09-26 | Taylor Hom
    The U.S. military's mysterious X-37B space plane is headed back into the great beyond to do… whatever it does up there. The X-37B is slated for its third launch in October, the Air Force said, but like its two orbital predecessors, the mission of the unmanned spacecraft remains shrouded in secrecy. The exact timing of the October spaceflight, dubbed Orbital Test Vechicle-3 or OTV-3, is also tentative. "We are on track for the launch of the X-37B to occur next month, but the exact date of the launch is dependent on a number of factors including range conditions and weather,"...
  • Air Force Will Continue to Launch Mysterious X-37B Space Plane

    03/22/2012 9:00:20 PM PDT · by U-238 · 23 replies · 3+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/22/2012 | Stew Magnuson
    What payloads are aboard the Air Force’s X-37B space plane, which has been orbiting the Earth for more than a year, remains top secret. Gen. William L. Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, was peppered with questions about its purpose at a gathering of Washington, D.C.-based defense reporters March 22. He remained tight-lipped about the mystery spacecraft’s mission, but did say that the service has no intention of purchasing any more of the winged, reusable vehicles, which resemble a smaller version of NASA’s now returned space shuttle. “It is doing very well on orbit,” he said. “It has had...
  • U.S. Air Force space plane marks one year in orbit

    03/05/2012 7:05:31 PM PST · by U-238 · 6 replies
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 3/4/2012 | Stephen Clark
    The U.S. Air Force's second X-37B space plane marked one year in orbit Monday, continuing its clandestine mission more than 200 miles above Earth. The robotic spacecraft's purpose is secret, but Air Force officials acknowledge the vehicle is performing well one year after it blasted off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on March 5, 2011. "We are very pleased with the results of the on-going X-37B experiments," said Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, X-37B program director in the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office. "The X-37B program is setting the standard for a reusable space plane and, on this...
  • No landing date yet for Air Force's mystery craft

    11/29/2011 9:20:18 PM PST · by neverdem · 29 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | November 29, 2011 | NA
    VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A secretive unmanned space plane is staying in orbit a little longer. The experimental Air Force craft has been circling Earth for about nine months. The X-37B orbital test vehicle was due to land in California this week, but the Air Force said Tuesday that the mission will be extended. A landing date has not been set...
  • Air Force to Launch 2nd Secret X-37B Space Plane Today After Delay

    03/05/2011 2:23:21 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies ^ | 05 March 2011 Time: 03:20 PM ET | Mike Wall,
    The U.S. Air Force will try to launch its second secretive X-37B space plane from Florida again today (March 5), after bad weather foiled the first attempt yesterday. The unmanned X-37B mini-shuttle — which is known as Orbital Test Vehicle 2, or OTV-2 — is now slated to launch at 5:46 p.m. EST (2246 GMT) today from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The reusable space plane will ride to orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket to begin its mysterious mission, if the weather allows. Two launch attempts were thwarted yesterday due to high winds and thick cumulus clouds. The...
  • Russians at work on military spaceplane

    02/02/2011 4:43:38 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 2/2/2011 | Dan Thisdell and Alexander Zudin
    Russian Space Forces researchers are working on an unmanned reusable spacecraft similar to the US Air Force's Boeing X-37 orbital test vehicle, the head of the armed forces unit dedicated to military space operations has revealed. Oleg Ostapenko, speaking just weeks after the end of the X-37B's maiden, 220-day mission, said: "Something has been done along these lines, but as to whether we will use it, only time will tell." A move by Russia to develop a reusable spaceplane harks back to the Soviet Union's Buran space shuttle project. Buran was similar in concept and size to NASA's Space Shuttle,...
  • EADS Astrium To Develop Spaceplane

    01/28/2011 12:26:07 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/28/2011 | Leithen Francis
    EADS Astrium has disclosed that Singapore will be a partner in its suborbital spaceplane program. At the Global Space & Technology Convention in Singapore, EADS Astrium executives announced that Singapore will be building a small-scale demonstrator of the spaceplane and may be involved in developing parts for the commercial product. EADS Astrium is also hoping Singapore will ultimately have a fleet of its commercial spaceplanes stationed at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Christophe Chavagnac, EADS Astrium’s suborbital spaceplane chief engineer and program manager, says Singapore companies will be designing and building a small-scale demonstrator spaceplane used to test aerodynamics and glide capability....
  • Russian answer to U.S. reusable robotic spacecraft in the offing

    01/27/2011 11:50:23 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    RIA Novosti ^ | 1/28/2011 | RIA Novosti
    Russian researchers are working on an unmanned spacecraft similar to the U.S. Boeing X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, Space Troops chief Oleg Ostapenko said on Thursday. He said, however, it was not clear as yet how it would be used. "Something has been done along these lines, but as to whether we will use it, only time will tell," Ostapenko said. The Boeing X-37, used for orbital spaceflight missions, has a length of over 29 ft (8.9 m) and features two angled tail fins. The spaceplane's first orbital mission was launched on April 22, 2010 with an Atlas V rocket.
  • AF's X-37B Historical Landing Advances Space Vehicle Technologies

    12/08/2010 9:06:47 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies
    ASDN News ^ | 12/8/2010 | ASDN News
    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...
  • X-37B Prepared For Expanded Orbital Test

    12/07/2010 1:09:44 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/07/2010 | Guy Norris
    The U.S. Air Force says the second planned mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) will “expand the operating envelope” of the autonomous space vehicle, potentially increasing the orbital cross-range and capability of landing in stronger crosswinds. Richard McKinney, Air Force undersecretary for space programs, says the second test X-37B—OTV-2—is being prepared in Boeing’s California space facilities for transfer “soon” to Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. From there it will be launched on an Atlas V in the March-April 2011 time period. Lt. Col. Troy Giese, X-37B program manager from the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (Afrco), which manages the...
  • USAF welcomes home X-37B space plane

    12/07/2010 12:46:29 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 12/6/2010 | Gayle Putrich
    The U.S. Air Force is evaluating the performance and condition of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-1), the reusable space plane that lifted off in April and remains the subject of much international speculation. The unmanned spacecraft landed at 1:16 a.m. Pacific Time on 3 December at Vandenberg AFB, in California after 224 days and nine hours in space. Though the service is not discussing specifics about OTV-1's classified payload, air force insists the focus of the maiden flight was the aircraft, not the payload or even potential payloads. "Our ability to launch it and our ability to operate it...
  • What Could X-37B Do?

    12/04/2010 12:49:40 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 22 replies · 1+ views
    DoD Buzz ^ | 12/3/2010 | Colin Clark
    The wonderfully sort-of-secret X-37B is back on terra firma after a long stay in space. Very little information beyond its appearance, dimensions and the fact that the Air Force is deploying it is known about the vehicle, which looks a lot like a mini space shuttle. The vehicle can stay in orbit for at least nine months. As someone who spent five years at Space News — much of that time covering intelligence issues — I’m going to engage in some informed speculation. It could take advanced sensors into space for testing and, probably, allow sensors to operate from the...
  • Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Successfully Completes 1st Flight

    12/03/2010 5:10:12 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies
    Boeing ^ | 12/3/2010 | Boeing
    Boeing today announced the successful de-orbit and landing of the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), also known as the X-37B, for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO). The X-37B, shown here in a photo from before its launch, landed at 1:16 a.m. Pacific time today, concluding its more than 220-day experimental test mission. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on April 22.
  • Vandenberg sets stage for unmanned spacecraft

    12/02/2010 9:18:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies
    Lompoc Record ^ | 12/03/2010 | Janene Scully
    After bidding farewell to more than 1,900 space vehicles, Vandenberg Air Force Base has worked to instead get ready to greet one very high-profile spacecraft. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the Air Force’s unmanned miniature space shuttle, is scheduled to land as soon as Friday morning at Vandenberg’s 3-mile-long runway. “This is a historical first, not only for Vandenberg Air Force Base but also our Air Force and our nation to receive a recoverable spacecraft here and really take a step forward for unmanned space flight,” said Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander. Launched from the East Coast in...
  • Mystery Space Plane Coming Home, Still No Clue What it Does

    12/01/2010 8:42:50 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 29 replies · 2+ views
    Defense Tech ^ | 12/1/2010 | Defense Tech
    So, the world’s most mysterious UAV is set to return to Earth after spending nearly eight months in space where it did lord only knows what. Courtesy of the LA Times: The X-37, an unmanned spacecraft that resembles a miniature version of the space shuttle, is set to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base as early as this week — more than seven months after it was launched into orbit. The Air Force, which has been developing the X-37 pilotless space plane, has kept the ultimate purpose of the program hush-hush. It was launched April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla....
  • Preparations underway for first landing of X-37B

    11/30/2010 9:45:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies
    Vandenberg AFB News ^ | 11/30/2010 | 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
    Preparations for the first landing of the X-37B are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Space professionals from the 30th Space Wing will monitor the de-orbit and landing of the Air Force's first X-37B, called the Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1). While the exact landing date and time will depend on technical and weather considerations, it is expected to occur between Friday, December 3, and Monday, December 6, 2010.
  • Secretive Air Force X-37B Robotic Space Plane May Be Nearing Mission’s End.

    11/27/2010 9:31:39 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 10 replies ^ | 11/22/2010 | Leonard David
    A U.S. Air Force robotic space plane continues to maneuver in Earth orbit, according to the latest observations from skywatchers. The reusable space drone has been carrying out tasks using a suite of classified sensors and may be nearing its mission's end, according to comments from Air Force officials. The spacecraft is the Air Force's X-37B space plane, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle 1, which launched on its maiden flight on April 22 atop an Atlas 5 rocket. The winged orbiter's mission has been shrouded in secrecy, but Air Force officials have said it was built for 270-day...
  • High-Tech Space Planes Taking Shape in Italy, Russia

    06/05/2010 11:36:21 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 576+ views via ^ | 6/3/2010 | Jeremy Hsu
    The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane may eventually get some company in low-Earth orbit as other countries such as Italy and Russia push forward with plans for their own reusable winged spaceships. Italy's prototype space plane, named Pollux, successfully carried out high-speed maneuvers that slowed it down from a falling speed of Mach 1.2 during a test flight in April. More recently, Russia has begun considering whether to revive a Cold War era, air-launched mini-shuttle in response to the U.S. X-37B space plane debut. Such efforts may not immediately lead to full-fledged operational flights. But in the case...
  • Secret X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Amateur Skywatchers

    05/25/2010 9:51:49 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 1,122+ views ^ | 5/22/2010 | Leonard David
    While the U.S. Air Force is mum about the orbital whereabouts of its X-37B mini-space plane, a dedicated band of amateur skywatchers has got its cross-hairs on the spacecraft. The unpiloted X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle 1 was lofted on April 22 atop an Atlas launcher. It is being flown under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. In U.S. military tracking parlance, when the space plane reached orbit it became identified as Catalog Number 36514, 2010-015A, OTV-1 (USA 212). From there it entered a cone of silence regarding any on-orbit duties. But thanks to a worldwide eyes-on-the-sky...
  • Vandenberg AFB runway gets a makeover for unmanned spacecraft

    05/25/2010 9:31:59 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 8 replies · 416+ views
    Santa Maria Times ^ | 5/25/2010 | Santa Maria Times
    A small army of workers quickly gave the Vandenberg Air Force Base runway a makeover in readiness for an unmanned spaceplane’s landing. Military officials called the recent runway hardware retrofit a necessary step to prep for the planned landing of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. The unmanned reusable spacecraft launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in April. At the time, officials said X-37B — with a wingspan of nearly 15 feet, a length of 29 feet and height of less than 10 feet — could spend up to nine months testing technologies in orbit...
  • New Weaponry Era Dawns with Unmanned Space Vehicles

    05/01/2010 8:10:33 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 580+ views
    Wharton Aerospace ^ | 4/30/2010 | Wharton Aerospace
    The Pentagon shot two unmanned space vehicles into Earth's orbit in April, underscoring its efforts to develop a super fast, high-altitude weapon system that could dominate from above even the highest-flying jet fighters. The Washington Times reported that the U. S. Air Force, which has jurisdiction in space, launched the troubled X-37B space plane for the first time. The unmanned plane piggybacked on an Atlas rocket into orbit. Once in orbit, it behaves much like the Space Shuttle, descending into Earth's atmosphere and then landing like a plane. The vehicle has been in development for more than 10 years and...
  • U.S. Air Force Official Touts Space Plane Applications

    04/28/2010 8:30:06 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 479+ views
    Space News ^ | 4/22/2010 | Turner Brinton
    The U.S. Air Force on April 22 launched a winged spacecraft designed to conduct military experiments on orbit for as long as nine months before re-entering the atmosphere and gliding to a runway landing in California. The service hopes the unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will pave the way for a cost-effective, reusable spacecraft platform that can be reconfigured on the ground and relaunched in just a few weeks, Gary Payton, undersecretary of the Air Force for space programs, said April 20 during a media teleconference. But because the X-37B’s specific experiments are classified, as is its budget, much about...
  • New unmanned spacecraft set to launch

    04/19/2010 10:24:55 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 31 replies · 661+ views
    Defense Professionals ^ | 4/192010 | Staff Sgt. Vanessa Young
    Air Force officials are scheduled to launch the U.S.'s newest and most advanced unmanned re-entry spacecraft April 21 at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will provide a flexible space test platform to conduct various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components and associated technology to be efficiently transported to and from the space environment where it will need to function. The X-37B will also prove new technology and components before they are committed to operational satellites. The OTV is the first vehicle since NASA's shuttle orbiter that has the ability to return experiments to Earth...
  • Secret Military Space Plane Primed For Test Launch

    03/14/2010 12:35:29 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 29 replies · 1,627+ views ^ | 3/13/2010 | Stephen Clark
    secretive military spacecraft resembling a small space shuttle orbiter is undergoing final processing in Florida for launch on April 19. The Air Force confirmed the critical preflight milestone in a response to written questions on Thursday. The 29-foot-long, 15-foot-wide Orbital Test Vehicle arrived in Cape Canaveral, Fla., last month according to the Air Force. The OTV spaceplane was built at a Boeing Phantom Works facility in Southern California. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the OTV program is shrouded in secrecy, but military officials occasionally release information on the the spaceplane's progress. "It is now undergoing spacecraft processing...
  • Fire in the sky: the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle of the early 1980s (part 2)

    03/08/2010 11:38:45 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 782+ views
    Space Review ^ | 3/8/2010 | Dwayne Day
    Many things remain murky about the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory’s sponsorship of an effort starting in 1980 to study the possibility of launching a spaceplane off the back of a 747. AFRPL was located at Edwards Air Force Base and in early December of that year, an AFRPL engineer named Don Hart produced a several page description of what such a vehicle might look like and might be capable of doing. (See: “Fire in the sky: the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle of the early 1980s (part 1)”, The Space Review, February 22, 2010) Very quickly at least one contractor...
  • Fire in the sky: the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle of the early 1980s (part 1)

    02/23/2010 7:08:08 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 473+ views
    The Space Review ^ | 2/22/2010 | Dwayne Day
    Moonraker is usually near the top when film critics list the worst James Bond movies. But for space enthusiasts, the film had some pretty cool hardware and a great opening sequence when a space shuttle ignites its engines atop a 747, blasting the giant jumbo jet into a fireball as it sails away. Of course, it’s all fiction: the shuttle doesn’t carry its own fuel for its main engines. But it looked good. Three decades later, Superman Returns featured a small space shuttle blasting off the back of a 777, which also fell from the sky and had to be...
  • The USAF's Secret Spaceplane

    12/06/2009 4:42:05 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 35 replies · 3,011+ views ^ | 12/09/2009 | Michael Klesius
    It's been a long wait—in some ways, more than 50 years—but in April 2010, the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to launch an Atlas V booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the newest U.S. spacecraft, the unmanned X-37, to orbit. The X-37 embodies the Air Force's desire for an operational spaceplane, a wish that dates to the 1950s, the era of the rocket-powered X-15 and X-20. In other ways, though, the X-37 will be picking up where another U.S. spaceplane, NASA's space shuttle, leaves off.
  • Air Force's Secretive Space Plane Nears Maiden Voyage

    10/25/2009 1:32:54 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 21 replies · 2,614+ views ^ | 22 October 2009 | Leonard David
    You would think that an unpiloted space plane built to rocket spaceward from Florida atop an Atlas booster, circle the planet for an extended time, then land on autopilot on a California runway would be big news. But for the U.S. Air Force X-37B project — seemingly, mum's the word. There is an air of vagueness regarding next year's Atlas Evolved Expendable launch of the unpiloted, reusable military space plane. The X-37B will be cocooned within the Atlas rocket's launch shroud — a ride that's far from cheap. While the launch range approval is still forthcoming, has learned that...
  • Prototype orbital seaplane in Texan blimp-base blast

    09/08/2008 6:29:20 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies · 285+ views ^ | 09/08/2008 | Staff
    Nautical X Prize also-ran suffers further setback A group of retired NASA engineers looking to develop a spacegoing seaplane - or seagoing spaceplane - have suffered a setback, with a prototype craft reportedly exploding during tests at the weekend. The Advent space seaplane concept The Daily News of Galveston County in Texas reports that the explosion near Hitchcock, 40 miles from Houston, was loud enough to draw a lot of attention. The disaster was apparently investigated by the Hitchcock police and fire departments, the FBI, Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Click here to find...
  • USAF To Launch First Spaceplane Demonstrator[First US Robotic Mil Spaceplane mission into orbit]

    08/08/2008 5:19:05 PM PDT · by BGHater · 11 replies · 280+ views
    Aviation Week ^ | 03 Aug 2008 | Craig Covault
    The Air Force is preparing for the Atlas V launch in December of the first U.S. robotic military spaceplane mission into orbit. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle flight will mark a fundamental technology milestone for the Air Force. It will carry on winged hypersonic space vehicle technology as the space shuttle is canceled. This work is designed to propel the Air Force mission more rapidly - to where the blue sky turns to black - using a reusable hypersonic craft serviced on the ground just like an airplane. In the future, this could lead to military spaceplane capability for the...
  • Semper Fly: Marines in Space (excellent Popular Science article with photos)

    12/19/2006 1:12:48 AM PST · by ajolympian2004 · 38 replies · 9,426+ views
    Popular Science ^ | December 2006 | David Axe
    As any battlefield commander will tell you, getting troops to the fight can be as difficult as winning it. And for modern-day soldiers, the sites of conflict are so far-flung, and the political considerations of even flying over another country so complicated, that rapid entry has become nearly impossible. If a group of Marine Corps visionaries have their way, however, 30 years from now, Marines could touch down anywhere on the globe in less than two hours, without needing to negotiate passage through foreign airspace. The breathtaking efficiency of such a delivery system could change forever the way the U.S....
  • The X-37 Spaceplane to Fly At Mojave Spaceport

    03/31/2006 5:18:30 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 13 replies · 826+ views ^ | 03/31/06 | Leonard David
    Yet another experimental spaceplane may soon fly the skies over the Mojave, California inland spaceport. The work pace appears to be accelerating in readying the unpiloted X-37 vehicle for a drop test high above the desert. Taking the craft to altitude for release will be the White Knight mothership, designed and operated by Scaled Composites of Mojave, California. It was the White Knight that toted SpaceShipOne skyward for release, with that piloted rocketplane making repeated suborbital flights in 2004—bagging the $10 million Ansari X Prize in the process. The White Knight/X-37 combination has undergone numbers of taxi and flight hops...
  • Russia and Europe tout new space plane

    07/05/2005 6:33:45 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 21 replies · 580+ views
    The Register ^ | 07/05/05 | Lucy Sheriff
    Russia and Europe are in talks to build a new a space plane that will fly missions to the International Space Station once Shuttle's final flight is over in 2010. The new plane would have a lot of new ideas in its design, explains RKK Energuya engineer Vladimir Daneev. "Since the construction of the Shuttle and Buran, a lot of new materials have been found and new technologies have appeared," he said. "We will use all this Russian know-how in the new spacecraft, and we are eager to incorporate a maximum of European technology in the design."
  • Superfast Nasa jet pushes Mach 10

    11/16/2004 3:46:21 PM PST · by mondoman · 33 replies · 1,668+ views
    BBC News ^ | 11/16/04 | BBC News
    Nasa flew an unmanned experimental jet on Tuesday to a speed that was in excess of nine times the speed of sound - a world record. The X-43A - a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) - was released on its test run from beneath a bomber's wing. The 3.7m-long aircraft had already set a world best for an "air breathing" jet of Mach 6.83 - nearly seven times the speed of sound - on a flight in March. Preliminary data confirming the success came through in real-time. Mach 10 is roughly 12,000km/h or 7,400mph. "This flight is a key milestone and...
  • Congressmen want NASA to ax space plane

    10/28/2003 10:39:44 AM PST · by presidio9 · 46 replies · 139+ views
    AP ^ | Tuesday, October 28, 2003
    <p>Two leading members of the House Science Committee are urging NASA to defer its developing space plane program because of concerns about cost and the potential benefit of the craft.</p> <p>NASA hopes to have the so-called Orbital Space Plane launched to the international space station by 2008, to serve at least initially as a lifeboat.</p>
  • Lockheed, Northrop to team up

    10/02/2003 10:41:47 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 3 replies · 185+ views
    Valley Press ^ | October 2, 2003 | ALLISON GATLIN
    Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Space Systems Co. will team with Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems Sector to compete for full-scale development of NASA's orbital space plane. The orbital space plane program is planned as a next-generation crew rescue and transport system for the international space station. The space plane, which may include multiple vehicles, will enable a larger permanent crew to occupy the orbiting research facility, increasing science and research capabilities in space. Details of the agreement between Lockheed and Northrop, announced Monday, will be worked out in the next 90 days, Northrop Grumman spokesman Brooks McKinney said. If any of the...
  • Secret American Space Planes to Dominate Planet Earth

    08/04/2003 7:50:00 AM PDT · by ex-Texan · 44 replies · 576+ views ^ | 11/5/2002 | Staff Writers
    Secret American Space Planes to Dominate Planet EarthThe USA has been working on secret, new-generation space planes In the beginning of the 1990s, Russian intelligence uncovered the fact that the USA was testing a super-secret plane at one of its airbases. Russian agents attempted to see the new object with their own eyes and take pictures of it, but all attempts failed. The Americans provided incredible security for their secret weapon, and they tested the plane only at night. However, Russian agents managed to get some information about the new plane, which the USA calls Aurora, in honor of the...
  • X-37 Technology Demonstrator Completes Structural Tests

    07/25/2003 4:37:03 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 14 replies · 256+ views
    An approach and landing test version of the X-37, a spacecraft designed to demonstrate technologies for NASA's Orbital Space Plane Program, successfully completed structural testing in Huntington Beach, Calif. The series of ground-based, proof tests are intended to verify the structural integrity of the X-37 Approach and Landing Test Vehicle. The tests apply pressure to the vehicle, simulating flight stresses and loads the X-37 may encounter in flight.
  • NASA to Accelerate Orbital Space Plane Schedule

    07/15/2003 9:01:18 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 27 replies · 288+ views ^ | 07/15/03 | Lou Rains
    DAYTON, Ohio -- NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe has instructed the agency to accelerate development of the Orbital Space Plane and to have a vehicle ready to send to the international space station by 2008 to serve as a crew rescue vehicle. "In light of Columbia, the administrator has asked us to accelerate by two years," said Daniel Dumbacher, manager of the second generation reusable launch vehicle program office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. He said O’Keefe requested the new schedule about two weeks ago.
  • The End of U.S. Manned Spaceflight Looms Ever Closer

    07/11/2003 2:59:37 PM PDT · by Paul Ross · 32 replies · 452+ views
    Space Daily ^ | 7/10/03 | Jeffrey F. Bell
    The US manned space program has at best only a few more years of missions left in it, until its cost, complexity and design flaws results in another failure that grounds all US manned launches until a new transport system is designed and built. by Jeffrey F. BellHonolulu - Jul 10, 2003 Once again, NASA has proposed to develop a replacement for the troubled Space Shuttle. This year's project goes by the ungrammatical moniker "Orbital Space Plane". An interim version of OSP called the CRV (Crew Rescue Vehicle) to be developed by 2010 will take over the International Space Station...
  • NASA releases details on new space plane

    02/19/2003 6:17:51 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 160+ views
    The Orlando Sentinel ^ | February 19,2003 | GWYNETH K. SHAW
    <p>NASA announced a handful of new details Tuesday about the proposed orbital space plane, which is supposed to provide a safer, more flexible option for sending humans into space within the next decade.</p> <p>The baseline requirements for the spacecraft call for a vehicle that can be an emergency escape pod for the international space station by 2010 and a simple way to get people back and forth to space two years later.</p>
  • Shuttle Catastrophe to Stir Political; Policy Decision Making

    02/01/2003 10:41:40 PM PST · by Brett66 · 22 replies · 214+ views ^ | 2/1/03 | Leonard David
    Shuttle Catastrophe to Stir Political; Policy Decision Making By Leonard David Senior Space Writer posted: 07:35 pm ET 01 February 2003 The tragic loss of Columbia and its crew will bring about a series of tough decisions by NASA, the White House, and the American public. Both the future direction of human space travel and overall operation of the International Space Station must be addressed in short order. Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 moonwalker and former Senator from New Mexico, said that getting a shuttle back into space is critical. "You can no longer stand-down indefinitely. There is commitment to the...
  • Time to Revisit the Aerospace Plane Concept in Light of this Disaster

    02/01/2003 9:25:09 AM PST · by LS · 48 replies · 824+ views
    self | 02/01/03 | LS
    In light of today's Columbia disaster, it is perhaps time to revisit the intentions behind the now-cancelled National Aerospace Plane (the X-30) program. That program, in many ways, addressed what are apparently many of the problems that led to this explosion and loss of life. In the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration, through DARPA (the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency) formed a team of services (the Air Force, Navy, Strategic Defense) and NASA to design and build a scramjet-powered spaceplane that had aicraft-like operational characteristics. The goal was to make a space plane that was genuinely reusable, unlike the shuttles,...