Keyword: x37b

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  • US Air Force's Secret X37-B Space Plane Lands After 2 Year Mission

    10/17/2014 8:57:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    ABC News ^ | October 17, 2014 | Alyssa Newcomb and Luis Martinez
    The Air Force's secret mini-shuttle has finally returned to earth after spending nearly two years on a classified mission in space, military officials said today. The X37-B space plane touched down this morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after spending a staggering 674 days aloft. One of the few things known about the space plane's classified missions is that it can stay in orbit for extended periods of time. Measuring 29 feet in length and having a 15-foot wingspan, the unmanned re-usable orbital test vehicle looks like a miniature version of NASA's now retired space shuttles. Like the...
  • Secretive X-37B Military Space Plane Could Land in California Tuesday

    10/13/2014 12:30:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    space.com ^ | October 12, 2014 08:44am ET | Tariq Malik,
    The robotic X-37B space plane, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, will land at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where Air Force officials are gearing up for its return. As of today (Oct. 12), the X-37B mini-shuttle has been in orbit since December 2012 and racked up a record-shattering 671 days in space. ... The Air Force has two X-37B space planes in its fleet and has been flying them on secret missions since 2010. But the exact purpose of those flights have been shrouded in secrecy. The mission in orbit now, called Orbital Test Vehicle 3...
  • US Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Passes 500 Days in Orbit

    04/24/2014 9:19:06 AM PDT · by lbryce · 53 replies
    Space.com ^ | Aril 24, 2014 | Mike Wall, Senior Writer
    An unmanned military space plane has achieved a major longevity milestone, zipping around Earth for 500 days on a clandestine mission for the United States government. The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane launched on its third and latest mission on Dec. 11, 2012. As of today (April 24), the vehicle has been aloft for 500 days — far longer than its officially stated maximum orbital lifetime of 270 days. "Clearly, and understandably, the Air Force initially set the expected parameters [of the X-37B] conservatively, not really knowing what it could do until it was tested — which is what...
  • Is secret USAF robot plane X37B a warrior or a workhorse?

    07/04/2012 12:50:13 PM PDT · by Renfield · 23 replies
    Digital Journal ^ | 6-6-2012 | Paul Wallis
    <p>Sydney - A robot US space plane, X37B, has just completed a record feat of endurance, a whole year in space. This rather evasively publicized major achievement is a first for any kind of reusable spacecraft.</p> <p>It’s also a reassuring achievement at a time when many commentators (me for one) were wondering if the US was playing with a full deck on its space program capabilities. The apparently blasé decommissioning of the space shuttles, given the very high reliance of the US military on space infrastructure like spy satellites, etc. was looking very much like an unbelievably stupid own goal.</p>
  • [M]mysterious space plane to land after a YEAR in orbit - and no one knows what it did up there

    06/04/2012 6:03:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 95 replies
    dailymailuk ^ | : 09:12 EST, 4 June 2012 | Rob Waugh
    The U.S Air Force’s highly secret unmanned space plane will land in June - ending a year-long mission in orbit. The experimental Boeing X37-B has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December. It is now expected to land in mid to late June. At launch, the space plane was accompanied by staff in biohazard suits, leading to speculation that there were radioactive components on board. The men and women of Team Vandenberg are ready to execute safe landing operations anytime and at a moment's notice,' said Colonel Nina Armagno of...
  • 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 launches space plane X-37B one day after delay

    03/07/2011 7:17:21 PM PST · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 6, 2011 | The Associated Press
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The Air Force has launched a second experimental space plane that resembles a small shuttle. An Atlas 5 rocket blasted off with the unmanned space plane Saturday afternoon from Cape Canaveral. Air Force officials aren't saying much about the X-37B orbital test vehicle. It's the second of its type to be launched. The first rocketed into orbit last spring. It landed in California in December following a 270-day mission. The X-37B is 29 feet long with a wing span of 15 feet...
  • 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
    SPACE.com ^ | 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...
  • Was Laughner Mocking The Columbia Disaster And Threatening The X-37B In Flag Burning Message?

    01/17/2011 7:01:21 AM PST · by ExxonPatrolUs · 8 replies
    The Internets ^ | 1-17-2011 | Self
    I’m pretty sure Jared Lee Laughner was ranting about the X-37B in the flag burning video under YouTube channel Starhitshnoz. Jared: “There's a new bird on my right shoulder. The beak is two feet and lime green. The rarest bird on earth, there's no feathers, but small grey scales all over the body. It's with one large red eye with a light blue iris. The bird feet are the same as a woodpecker. This new bird and there's only one, the gender is not female or male. The wings of this bird are beautiful; 3 feet wide with the shape...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Unmanned US spacecraft returns after 7-month trip

    12/04/2010 8:41:19 PM PST · by Texas Fossil · 26 replies
    AP News MyWay (linked from Drudge) ^ | Dec 3, 6:36 AM (ET) | AP
    VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - The U.S. Air Force's secrecy-shrouded X-37B unmanned spaceplane returned to Earth early Friday after more than seven months in orbit on a classified mission, officials said.
  • The Elusive X-37

    10/16/2010 9:44:20 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | 10/14/2010 | The Strategy Page
    After six months in orbit, the U.S. Air Force X-37B UOV (unmanned orbital vehicle) is proving elusive to amateur astronomers. This international collection of sky watchers have proved remarkably adept at spotting orbital objects in the past, including classified ones like the X-37B. One notable incident occurred two years ago, when a U.S. spy satellite fell out of orbit (apparently because of a failure in its maneuvering system). The amateur astronomers were able to track it. If this had not been an American reconnaissance satellite, there would have been no media attention to this, because 4-5 satellites a month fall...
  • What’s behind the secrecy of the X-37B? Probably cover for another satellite launched with it

    06/01/2010 1:53:28 PM PDT · by Corky Boyd · 16 replies · 645+ views
    Island Turtle ^ | June 1, 2010 | Corky Boyd
    On April 22 the Air Force launched the X-37B, an unmanned miniature space shuttle look-alike that was cloaked in secrecy and described in official gobbledygook that still defies the best decryption efforts of NSA. Here’s a sample:...“The program supports technology risk reduction, experimentation and operational concept development.” Nothing about this mission makes sense. What aroused my curiosity was an article in the NY Times that Harvard astronomer Jonathan Mc Dowell had reported the upper stage was sent into an unknown orbit around the sun. Now the upper stage of any launch vehicle shoves the main payload into its final orbit,...
  • Secrets Of The X-37B Unveiled By Amateur Sky Watchers

    05/25/2010 8:19:41 AM PDT · by Rebelbase · 12 replies · 1,448+ views
    http://www.redorbit.com ^ | 24 May 2010, | staff
    A group of amateur sky watchers has cracked the case of the secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation's first robotic spaceplane, discovering that the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, reveals a report by the New York Times. The unmanned X-37B craft launched last month from Florida on its debut mission while attracting little public notice. The craft was shrouded in operational secrecy, even as civilian specialists reported that it might go on mysterious errands for up to nine months before coming back down to earth. Pentagon leaders strongly denied...
  • A weapon that can strike anywhere on Earth in 30 minutes

    04/25/2010 3:16:32 AM PDT · by Scanian · 34 replies · 1,541+ views
    NY Post ^ | April 25, 2010 | SHARON WEINBERGER
    Call it a reusable space vehicle. Call it a space plane. But whatever you do, just don’t call it a space weapon. That’s the message from the Air Force after last week’s launch of its X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which can stay on orbit up to 270 days. The Air Force won’t say what, exactly, the robotic space plane will be doing there, how long it will linger this time, or even how much it costs. But the military is already in the process of building a second aircraft, which will fly next year. Officially the Air Force has described...
  • Star Wars 2010? U.S. military launch space plane on maiden voyage... but its mission is top secret

    04/23/2010 4:48:38 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 28 replies · 1,114+ views
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ ^ | April 23, 2010 | Biggirl
    A top secret space plane developed by the US military has blasted off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden voyage. Billed as a small shuttle, the unmanned X-37B heralds the next generation of space exploration. It will be the first craft to carry out an autonomous re-entry in the history of the US programme. But its mission - and its cost - remain shrouded in secrecy. The Air Force said the launch was a success but would give no further details.
  • X-37B Launch (Live Thread)

    04/22/2010 4:29:20 PM PDT · by Ronaldus Magnus · 35 replies · 1,372+ views
    Patrick Air Force Base ^ | April 22, 2010
    Atlas V X-37B OTV Cape launch set for April 22 Release Number: 040410 4/21/2010 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla -- The 45th Space Wing is set to launch an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle from Space Launch Complex 41 on April 22, 2010. The rocket will carry the Air Force's first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV). The launch window for this mission is 7:51-8:02 p.m. The X-37B 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...
  • Secret US Air Force unmanned space plane set for launch

    04/21/2010 8:23:46 PM PDT · by rxsid · 16 replies · 1,548+ views
    debka ^ | 4/20/2010 | DEBKAfile
    "Secret US Air Force unmanned space plane set for launch ...The 4.9-ton spacecraft - which has a wingspan of 4.27 meters and is 8.84 meters long - will be testing the long-duration ability of reusable space vehicles to stay in space for up to 270 days at an altitude of 200-800 km from earth before making an automatic landing at the Vandenberg Air force Base in California. The duration and exact nature of the Orbital Test Vehicle's mission have not been disclosed by the US Air Force Capabilities Office which oversees the project. Some space experts are calling its launch...
  • Air Force Prepares Launch Of Unmanned Shuttle Into Space

    04/20/2010 10:58:34 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 9 replies · 803+ views
    digtriad.com ^ | 4-20-10 | Kelly Heffernan-Taylor
    The Air Force quietly prepares to launch the X-37B, an unmanned shuttle into space on April 22, just days after the Discovery shuttle returns to earth. Developed by the Air Force for nearly a decade, the X-37B's scheduled launch coincides with a wind down in shuttle operations by NASA. The Air Force has been practicing test landings with a prototype of the X-37B at an undisclosed location for years. The Air Force spacecraft's launch has been delayed several times, and was most recently postponed to accommodate Discovery's return. The X-37B will stay in orbit for up to nine months and...
  • 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...
  • Air Force to launch robotic winged space plane

    04/03/2010 7:41:22 PM PDT · by Touch Not the Cat · 7 replies · 572+ views
    Associated Press via yahoo ^ | 2 hrs 50 mins ago | JOHN ANTCZAK,
    After a decade of development, the Air Force this month plans to launch a robotic spacecraft resembling a small space shuttle to conduct technology tests in orbit and then glide home to a California runway. The ultimate purpose of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle and details about the craft, which has been passed between several government agencies, however, remain a mystery as it is prepared for launch April 19 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The quietly scheduled launch culminates the project's long and expensive journey from NASA to the Pentagon's research and development arm and then to a secretive Air Force...
  • Air Force prepares launch of X-37B set for December

    08/03/2008 1:02:29 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies · 11,923+ views
    Valley Press on ^ | Sunday, August 3, 2008. | ALLISON GATLIN
    The Air Force is preparing to test an unmanned spacecraft in orbit, with a launch scheduled for December. The X-37B is designed to perform long-duration testing in low-Earth orbit of new technologies. The unmanned vehicle will carry experiments into space, then return with them to Earth. The vehicle... operates autonomously in orbit and for re-entry and landing. This first orbital flight test of the vehicle will be used to determine the capabilities of the craft, said an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Mark Brown. It is part of a former NASA program that was cut as the space agency focused...
  • Air Force ready for testing of unmanned space vehicle

    01/22/2007 7:47:23 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies · 565+ views
    Valley Press on ^ | Monday, January 22, 2007 | ALLISON GATLIN
    The Air Force is proceeding with testing an unmanned space vehicle, part of a former NASA program that was cut as the space agency focused space exploration goals. The X-37B is designed to perform long-duration testing in low-Earth orbit of new technologies. The unmanned vehicle will carry experiments into space, then return with them to Earth. "The (orbital test vehicle) will provide the Air Force the ability to verify new technologies and components operate as expected in the space environment, as well as inspect these technologies or components back on the ground before they are integrated into highly expensive satellites...