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    X-37B Military Spaceplane

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    Mike E

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    X-37B Military Spaceplane

    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

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    George1

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    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: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    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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    Project Canada

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  Project Canada on Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:40 pm

    US to develop reusable spacecraft to launch military satellites quickly & cheaply



    Don't have anything to do with Russian space program but the successful creation of this spacecraft from a hostile nation to Russia will cause great disadvantage for Russia and potentially deal severe damage to the prospects of RF's space industry. I do hope Russia has a rival program for this cheap satellite lunch system
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    sepheronx

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  sepheronx on Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:43 pm

    Yeah, much like their shuttle program, right? Haha. And Russia can launch minisats with a MiG-31....

    It wont be both. Either it will be cheap or reusable.

    They seem to have quite the ambitions. With also facing reduced budgets and importing engines.

    Ill wait to see it to believe it.
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    max steel

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  max steel on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:00 pm

    Exactly I agree with seph dont get carried away by looking their desirable projekts. They were hyping over a new hypersonic arclight missile and later they terminated it.
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    kvs

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  kvs on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:25 pm

    Project Canada wrote:US to develop reusable spacecraft to launch military satellites quickly & cheaply


    In four years? Please put the crack pipe down, RT, Boeing et al.

    The current level of funding ($6.5 million) indicates pure paper research and not development work.



    mutantsushi

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  mutantsushi on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:33 am

    If this was about cheap for commercial market, it would be funded by NASA, not US DOD.
    US DOD launches on legacy rockets are crazy expensive, so cheap by that standard doesn't mean shit re: commercial market.
    Russia probably should continue to pursue it's re-usability projects, and their next-gen natural gas fueled launcher enables that.
    (less deposits on engine allowing more re-usability)
    But the competition there is commercial producers like SpaceX, the ULA/BlueOrigin project, and ESA, not US DOD babies.
    SpaceX's reusability is incidentally the least efficient, trying to return the entire launcher, ULA (and now ESA) plan to return only engines.
    Angara supposedly is aiming for 20% cheaper than Proton, and I just don't expect more than 1 competitor to beat it on price,
    with dynamics of commercial market needing 3 vendors, that means Russia will be on board, regardless.

    This US DOD project seems more about their military needs, they want to be able to re-launch these ASAP,
    probably aiming to be able to re-populate their sat fleet after some is taken out by attack or natural event,
    and "cheap" here is cheap in contrast to alternative, keeping equivalent fleet in storage/maintenance ready to launch,
    vs. re-usable craft that can re-launch in order to achieve same launch rate in 2 weeks, for example.
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    BlackArrow

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  BlackArrow on Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:15 pm

    kvs wrote:
    Project Canada wrote:US to develop reusable spacecraft to launch military satellites quickly & cheaply


    In four years?   Please put the crack pipe down, RT, Boeing et al.  

    The current level of funding ($6.5 million) indicates pure paper research and not development work.



    They don't need 4 years, such a spacecraft already exists Have you never heard of X-37B?

    I don't see why they can't easily adapt such a spacecraft for satellite launches.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37#X-37B_2



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    kvs

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  kvs on Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:50 pm

    BlackArrow wrote:
    kvs wrote:
    Project Canada wrote:US to develop reusable spacecraft to launch military satellites quickly & cheaply


    In four years?   Please put the crack pipe down, RT, Boeing et al.  

    The current level of funding ($6.5 million) indicates pure paper research and not development work.



    They don't need 4 years, such a spacecraft already exists Have you never heard of X-37B?

    I don't see why they can't easily adapt such a spacecraft for satellite launches.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37#X-37B_2




    Where do you think the salaries of the researchers come from? Over a 5 year period project the salary costs alone are
    several million dollars. And both government agencies and private companies pay their workers from transient project
    money so you can't claim that they get their salaries from somewhere else.

    Converting this toy into a full scale craft will take hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions. It takes 300 million
    dollars to do a single research satellite launch and that does not include the cost of developing and building the satellite.
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    Big_Gazza

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    Russia is developing a response to the US space plane bomber

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:39 pm

    BlackArrow wrote:
    They don't need 4 years, such a spacecraft already exists Have you never heard of X-37B?

    I don't see why they can't easily adapt such a spacecraft for satellite launches.

    The X-37B can't be adapted to launch satellites because it IS a satellite (albeit a maneuvering and re-usable one).  It has no appreciable engines of its own (only the equivalent of an orbital insertion stage), and it requires an (expendable) Atlas EELV to get into orbit.  Any reuseable vehicle used to deliver satellites into orbit also needs to deliver ITSELF to orbit, and therefore requires far greater launch mass for a given payload than an expendable system.  Any satellite small enough to fit within the payload range of a X-37-style rocket rider could be launched quicker, cheaper and more reliably on a light launcher, eg a Rokot-type silo-based launcher with storable propellents, kept on standby like an ICBM, onto which a containerised payload could be deployed.

    Any reusable satellite launcher for significantly bigger payloads would require a vehicle more like the Shuttle or Buran, and that certainly will NOT be cheap.
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    George1

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    Post  George1 on Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:33 pm

    VKS: US spaceplane X-37B - a simple object for monitoring Russia

    According to the Chief of Staff of the Army 15 videoconferencing, look for X-37B - this is a very simple task. Kosmoplan so big that his every move much, he said.

    MOSCOW, October 3 - RIA Novosti. The Russian space monitoring system to easily see the slightest movement of the American perspective spaceplane, said on Saturday, the army chief of staff 15 FSI (special purpose), Major-General Anatoly Nestechuk.

    Earlier it was reported that an unmanned orbital spaceplane developed the X-37 Boeing's interests the US Defense Department. Since 2010, the United States carried out a three-run devices Series X-37B. The main mission of the mini-shuttle is considered to be the ability to deliver small loads into space, as well as intelligence activities. At the disposal of the US Air Force is now two devices X-37B. The last mission, launched in December 2012, lasted a record 675 days.

    Space Forces Day annually celebrated in Russia on October 4.

    "It is for us the easiest task - to look for the X-37B. It is so big that it is to turn left or right, we have already noted his every move", - said Nestechuk in the "General Staff" radio RSN.

    Previously also reported that Russia is developing the project, which will be the answer to the American system of the X-37.


    Talking about the space control system, it is also noted that the Space Forces are actively monitored to ensure that the International Space Station (ISS) collided with space debris, and sometimes even have to re-examine these colleagues from the United States.

    "Just recently, the US side has given information about the dangerous proximity of the International Space Station with one of the space debris - the probability of convergence was very large. The specialists of space control system of our compounds have been translated and performed work on the analysis of the situation, and we have issued almost zero probability this dangerous approach - check us a little bit, too, in their ability to perform tasks in this direction, "- said Nestechuk.

    "Until today, maybe we have enough funds, but brains - Mathematics - allows very high quality", - he added.

    Space surveillance systems (SKKP) was established to monitor the satellites and other space objects and is the main catalog of space objects. This is a basic element of Russia's unified information system for the global monitoring of the situation in outer space. SKKP In addition, this system consists of a single early-warning system (EWS), as well as power and missile (ABM) and the defense (PVO).

    https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=2&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://ria.ru/defense_safety/20151003/1296222546.html&usg=ALkJrhj4nPpaI5n15Skt49hXyYKBTufH9g


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    kvs

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    US wants to weaponize near Earth space

    Post  kvs on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:07 am

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/12/04/who-wants-to-weaponize-outer-space/

    The US wants to have primacy in everything. But it is going to get an existential shock if it thinks it can dominate Russia
    in space. It is opening a Pandora's box from which it will never recover.

    This idiocy of the self-described "hyper-power" is epic. They kill off the ABM treaty thinking that they can neutralize
    Russia's nuclear forces. Now they want to go down the path of parking nukes in orbit (think of Teller's nuclear detonation
    driven gamma ray laser platforms). Do they expect to be safe and secure from Russian orbiting weapons platforms?
    Do these retards really believe that Russia has no ability to respond? They should consider the performance of the
    S-400 vs. their latest Patriot system. But being retards they have no capacity to engage in such evaluations.
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    George1

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    US Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane

    Post  George1 on Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:06 am

    The US Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane has now spent more than 500 days orbiting the Earth, without statement or explanation.

    The 29-foot unmanned plane is part of the Air Force's orbital program. Launched May 20, 2015, it is the program's fourth flight (hence its other name, OTV-4 for Orbital Test Vehicle-4). The first OTV took flight in 2010 and spent 224 days in orbit; two others brought the total number of OTV days in orbit before 2015 to 1,367, according to the Air Force.

    The full purpose or intent of the program? The US Air Force remains mum.

    Read more: https://sputniknews.com/military/201610111046238374-spaceplane-reaches-500-days/


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    George1

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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    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: X-37B Military Spaceplane

    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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    Re: X-37B Military Spaceplane

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