Tag Archive: Boeing X-37


Air Force’s Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Nears One Year In Orbit

 

 

 

 

” The unmanned X-37B spacecraft — flying a mission known as Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) — launched into space atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 11, 2012. What payloads the space plane is toting and the overall mission goals on its confidential cruise are classified.

  But it is known that the OTV-3 mission signals a milestone for the X-37B program. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secret Space Plane Just Launched On A MysteryMission

 

 

 

 ” The launch starts the third mission in three years for the robotic X-37 fleet, assembled in Boeing’s now-shuttered Building 31 in Huntington Beach, California, for an estimated $1 billion apiece. But for all the time spent in orbit by the two school bus-size spacecraft — 693 days in all — it’s no more clear today precisely what the Air Force has been up to with the X-37s.

Officially, the solar- and battery-powered X-37s are strictly experimental craft, meant to “demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform” while also “operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth,” according to the Air Force.

But the Air Force has consistently declined to state exactly what those experiments might be. And in theory the X-37s could also carry spy sensors or gear for hacking enemy satellites. That and the lack of specific information has elicited protests from the Chinese government, which has vowed to build a space plane of its own.

The opacity also makes a mockery of the State Department’s international campaign for greater space transparency.”