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X-37 successful launch!

Posted by: SuperShuki - Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:50 am
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X-37 successful launch! 
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Post X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:50 am
For the full story, click here http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/04/23/341061/air-force-launches-us-militarys-first-spaceplane.html.

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Thu May 13, 2010 3:46 am
http://www.physorg.com/news191218075.html

This must be in response to the Space Shuttle's inevitable retirement. USAF won't trust the Russians with DOD payloads? :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA-212


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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Sun May 16, 2010 9:37 am
From what I've seen in the media about this, two of the prime concerns for the AF is the cost and ease of operation. If both these pan out then getting it to carry a crew module to the ISS in a civilian variant of the craft might well be a future option for the US.

Also if it could be possible to launch in a few days as the AF hope, it could act as an emergency support craft for ISS or a Biggelow station. It could carry emergency equipment or retrieve escape pods not designed for re-entry on their own.

Actually the more I think about it the more I think that something like an emergency service might be required to support commercial stations and craft. A vehicle like the X-37 which is envisaged to be able to launch on need quickly in a number of different roles could fulfill this requirement. A future international collaboration using the X-37, different emergency modules and a mini robotic arm to capture pods or equipment on orbit could be good for commercial space. Government has traditionally served this role on Earth it makes sense for them to continue in space.

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Sun May 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Ha, so you're expecting one decked out in the colours of the US Coast Guard? Not such a crazy idea actually. It would only make sense if the stations had life boats that couldn't land. The ISS has a Soyuz as a life boat, which will get the crew down in an hour or so in an emergency. That's still much less than the turnaround time of the X-37. But you might imagine Bigelow having a bunch of inflatable escape pods similar to the 1 m diameter balls that NASA has or had, but bigger so that people can survive for a few days. Those'll burn up on re-entry, so you'll need something to get the people down. Something akin to X-37 might work.

We'll have to see first if the re-entry goes well though. Essentially all they've done so far is launched a satellite that happens to have wings.

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Sun May 16, 2010 10:07 pm
An intensive care facility to get an injured crew member back to Earth might be required or maybe something like an auxillary power unit if the ISS suffered a major electrical problem.

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Thu May 20, 2010 6:13 pm
An Earth Orbit Ambulance... interesting! I hadn't thought of that but it sounds plausable.

Would it be easily converted into a manned craft? Or at least able to carry passengers?

I could see the X-37, or whatever comes out of the X-37 tests, playing multiple roles as a sort of "general purpose" spacecraft. (Bringing DOD experiments, payloads and sensors to orbit; emergency vehicle; passenger vehicle to bring military personel to space stations; maybe even a weapon to use against enemy sattelites?) The X-37 must be more like the concept vehicle, whatever come from these tests might be bigger/better! I'm excieted to see where this goes!

Does anyone know if it is landing at Vandenberg or Edwards? Or perhaps when?


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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Mon May 24, 2010 1:38 pm
This article mentions the possible need for an Orbital Coast Gaurd.

http://www.i-newswire.com/dser-comments ... zing/38438

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Mon May 24, 2010 9:48 pm
Its orbit has been tracked so you can have a go spotting it if you have the kit. :-

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/24 ... _in_orbit/

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Sun May 30, 2010 7:31 pm
Amateur skywatchers spot secret space plane

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37303712/ns ... ?GT1=43001


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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:31 am
Does anyone have any recent news about the X-37? I haven't heard anything new in months.


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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:35 am
I guess this doesn't have to mean anything, but http://www.heavens-above.com/ still has it listed.

But of course maybe that's just old data based on the first sightings, the Air Force could have changed it's orbit already.

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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:46 pm
It has already changed orbit once, correct?


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Post Re: X-37 successful launch!   Posted on: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:34 pm
They did it again
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2306 ... again.html

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