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    US Military Spaceplanes

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    Mike E

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:13 am

    After Nearly Two Years in Orbit, the U.S. Air Force’s Secretive Spaceplane Ready To Come Back Down

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force says its unmanned X-37B spaceplane — which has been orbiting Earth on a classified mission for 672 days and counting — will land soon at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The exact time and date of the landing will depend on weather and technical considerations, according to an Oct. 10 Air Force press release. Built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, the X-37B is a reusable unmanned orbital maneuvering vehicle that launches atop a rocket and returns to Earth much like NASA’s now-retired space shuttle, gliding in for a runway landing. Its three missions to date are classified. “Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission” Air Force Col. Keith Baits, commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg, said in the Oct. 10 release.
    The X-37B launched Dec. 11, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.  
    Construction is underway to convert a former space shuttle hangar at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center into a maintenance facility for the spaceplane. The facility will allow the Air Force to land, recover, refurbish and relaunch the X-37B, the Boeing officials have said.  
    All three X-37B missions to date were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is co-located with Kennedy. The first two missions ended with landings at Vandenberg.

    Anyone want to guess what the craft was being used for?
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    max steel

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    Mysterious X-37B Military Space Plane

    Post  max steel on Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:27 pm

    Off Topic Off Topic Off Topic

    Mysterious X-37B Military Space Plane to Fly Again Next Month

    Top secret X-37B space plane will fly next month using an 'experimental propulsion system', reveals the US Air Force
    0)X-37B space drone will take off on its fourth secret mission on May 20
    1)Theories ranged from it being a space bomber to destroying satellites
    2)The flight will test a system that makes satellites easy to manoeuvre
    3)This is probably a small part of the vehicle's true mission, say experts


    The mystery of the top-secret X-37B space drone has baffled military experts for decades.
    Theories have ranged from it being a space bomber ready to attack, to a secret probe on a mission to 'take out' spy satellites.
    Now, in an unprecedented disclosure, the Department of Defense has revealed details about the X-37B latest mission, which is due to take off on May 20.

    X-37B'S MYSTERY MISSIONS
    The U.S. Air Force's unmanned X-37B space plane has flown three secret missions to date.
    Each time it has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit.
    The spacecraft looks similar to Nasa's space shuttle but is much smaller. The X-37B is about 29ft (8.8m) long and 9.5ft (2.9 m) tall.
    It has a wingspan of just less than 15ft (4.6 m). At launch, it weighs 11,000lbs (4,990kg).
    The craft is taken into orbit on a rocket but lands like the space shuttle by gliding down to Earth.




    They are investigating an experimental propulsion system on the X-37B on Mission 4,' Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman, told Space.com.
    'The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office will also host a number of advance materials onboard the X-37B for Nasa to study the durability of various materials in the space environment,' Hoyler added.
    Spaceflightnow.com revealed more details of the flight, which is described as a 'hall thruster electric propulsion test.'
    It is intended to improve performance of the units onboard Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft, officials said today.
    AEHF satellites' Hall thrusters are 4.5-kilowatt units that use electricity and xenon to produce thrust for moving satellites in space.
    The benefit of using electric propulsion is that its xenon fuel weighs much less than traditional hydrazine.

    This technology could help in the development of technologies to control satellites with better accuracy.
    However, experts claim that refining an advanced manoeuvring thruster is probably just a small part of the vehicle's true mission set.
    One leading secrecy expert previously told DailyMail.com that the drone is 'very likely' be used to test technologies that will increase spying capabilities of the US.





    TOP FOUR CONSPIRACY THEORIES
    The space plane is a spy plane: The leading theory appears to be that the unmanned space plane is a shuttle-shaped surveillance vehicle.
    It could be a space bomber: This is the least likely theory, according tot Seven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. He claims the US doesn't need this capability.
    It is on a mission is to 'take out' satellites: This activity would be easily traceable, making it unlikely to stay a secret.
    The X-37B deploys spy satellites: Instead of destroying them, the theory suggests that the space plane's orbit matches up to where deployed satellites would work best for spying on other countries.


    'The US government has a bottomless appetite for sensitive information,' said Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists.
    'As powerful as our intelligence satellites may be, they also have their limitations - most notably the limitations imposed by their orbital parameters.
    'It's conceivable that a spy plane would introduce new versatility into overhead reconnaissance.'
    The X-37B space drone, otherwise known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, is blasted into orbit by a rocket. However, it lands using a runway like a normal aircraft.
    The X-37B is too small to carry people onboard, but does have a cargo bay similar to that of a pickup truck, which is just large enough to carry a small satellite.






    infrared view of the X-37B unmanned spacecraft landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
    The purpose of the U.S. military's space plane is classified
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    AirCargo

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    X-37B Space Plane

    Post  AirCargo on Mon May 11, 2015 3:35 am

    USAF/NASA X-37B Space Plane Program

    http://www.space.com/29293-air-force-x37b-space-plane-details.html
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    George1

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  George1 on Wed May 20, 2015 3:54 pm

    US to Launch Spaceplane on Secret Mission

    The US Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane is being readied for its fourth flight, lifted atop a United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket on a classified mission for Air Force Space Command, NASA announced on its website on Tuesday.

    The mission is believed to be demonstrating technology for future programs, including experiments allowing performance-enhancing modifications for communications satellites to be tested before they are introduced on operational missions.

    The X-37 will also carry NASA’s Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space, or METIS, payload to expose an array of material samples to the space environment before returning them to Earth for study.

    Developed by Boeing, the X-37B is an evolution of NASA’s proposed X-37A that was designed to be deployed from the Space Shuttle to conduct robotic satellite repair and research missions before returning to Earth independently.

    The X-37A underwent a series of glide tests in 2006, but the program was subsequently cancelled.

    The US Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency opted to continue development as a classified military program.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150520/1022367240.html#ixzz3agdVLdGa
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    max steel

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  max steel on Wed May 20, 2015 4:18 pm

    Russia tested with their OTV Buran that it cant be used for nuclear attack so i cant understand why usa is still sticking with their otv . They said they are using it for spying . Lol . What exactly are they trying to spy with their spacecraft . On the other hand China is uaing its OTV for placing sats in space .
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    AirCargo

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    NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  AirCargo on Thu May 21, 2015 3:00 am

    max steel wrote:Russia tested with their OTV Buran that it cant be used for nuclear attack so i cant understand why usa is still sticking with their otv

    Buran was a Soviet space shuttle that only flew in space once, orbited the Earth twice in 206 minutes of flight in 1988.
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    Book.

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    US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  Book. on Thu May 21, 2015 3:12 pm

    US Air Force X-37B space plane blasts off
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    George1

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  George1 on Thu May 25, 2017 9:47 am

    Boeing will create space-plane "Phantom Express" for DARPA



    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/2627311.html


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    George1

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  George1 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:25 am

    The Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the Pentagon’s secretive space plane, returned to Earth in early May after nearly two years in space. But in just a few months it’ll be heading back out to orbit – except this time it’ll be on the back of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201706071054418279-space-plane-spacex-launch-booster/


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    GarryB

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    Re: US Military Spaceplanes

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:36 am

    Russia tested with their OTV Buran that it cant be used for nuclear attack so i cant understand why usa is still sticking with their otv

    Actually the Soviets only built the Buran because they thought the US could use the space shuttle as some sort of super high speed orbital bomber and they didn't want to not have that capability too.

    After building Buran they quickly worked out that any sort of attack profile you could use the Buran for it was simpler and easier and cheaper to do the same thing with an ICBM.

    Very simply to change flight path to hit different targets the Buran had to change course with a 100 ton platform... with an ICBM with say a 1 ton warhead bus the requirements for fuel and the distance they could change their course to hit different targets was much much less and simpler and cheaper... so Buran lost military funding, which killed it.


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