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Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
by Sandra Erwin — October 27, 2019


The Air Force X-37B spaceplane landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019. Credit: Air Force

Secretary of the Air Force Barrett: 'The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane.'

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27 at 3:51 AM EST, the Air Force announced.

This was the fifth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. It flew for 780 days during this mission, breaking its own record by being in orbit for more than two years. As of today, the total number of days spent on-orbit for the entire test vehicle program is 2,865 days, the Air Force said. The spaceplane originally was designed to fly for just 270 days.

“The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane,” Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said in a news release.

The mission, called OTV-5, was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Sept. 7, 2017.

The spaceplane program, managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, has been used for science experiments to test technologies in a long-duration space environment.

“With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives,” said Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. “This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites.”

One of the experiments on OTV-5 is the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s second Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader (ASETS-II). This experiment will measure the long term performance of an oscillating heat pipe on orbit. Oscillating heat pipes are capable of transporting more than 45 times more heat than copper and are one of many technologies that the Air Force is testing to help advance space vehicle designs, AFRL said.

The original X-37 program was led by NASA and ran from 1999 to 2004, when NASA transferred it to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA continued the development of an approach and landing test vehicle. The Air Force adapted NASA’s original design of the orbital test vehicle to make the X-37B. Boeing is the prime contractor.

The Oct. 27 landing marked the second time the X-37B touched down at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. Mission 4 landed at Kennedy Space Center May 7, 2017, after 718 days in orbit.

The Air Force plans to launch the sixth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral in 2020.


Source: https://spacenews.com/air-force-x-37b-secret-spaceplane-lands-after-780-days-in-orbit/

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Październik 27, 2019, 16:06 »
Wylądował o 3:51 am czasu EDT, a nie jak piszą w tym artykule.

W USA zmiana czasu dopiero w przyszły weekend !
Intel Core i5-2320 3GHz/8GB RAM/AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series/HD 1 TB/Sony DVD ROM...

Offline Adam.Przybyla

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Październik 28, 2019, 11:31 »
Przy okazji, cos mu tam na orbicie chyba ... wypadlo:
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1188513737571033089
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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 30, 2019, 05:19 »
U.S. military’s X-37B spaceplane lands in Florida
October 27, 2019 Stephen Clark [SFN]


Members of the X-37B recovery team, wearing hazardous material suits, approached the X-37B spaceplane for safety checks after the vehicle landed Sunday on the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force’s reusable Boeing-built X-37B spaceplane returned to Earth early Sunday with a touchdown at NASA’s Shuttle Landing Facility runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a few miles away from where it launched 780 days ago atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The unpiloted winged spaceplane, resembling a miniature space shuttle, touched down at the Florida spaceport at 3:51 a.m. EDT (0751 GMT) Sunday, the Air Force said in a press release.

“The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane,” said Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force, in a statement. “Each successive mission advances our nation’s space capabilities.”

While the X-37B itself is not classified, details of its activities in orbit have remained largely secret. The spaceplane’s planned landing Sunday was also not disclosed in advance by the Air Force.

The X-37B landing Sunday completed the fifth — and longest — flight in the program’s history.

“The safe return of this spacecraft, after breaking its own endurance record, is the result of the innovative partnership between government and industry,” said Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, in a statement.

The X-37B executed a ground-commanded deorbit burn early Sunday to target landing at the Kennedy Space Center, then performed a series of banking maneuvers during re-entry to dissipate speed before lining up with the shuttle-era runway near Cape Canaveral.

“With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives,” said Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, which manages the X-37B program. “This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites.”



The fifth X-37B mission lifted off on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Sept. 7, 2017. Credit: SpaceX

The reusable X-37B spaceplane, developed by Boeing Phantom Works, is designed to launch on top of a conventional rocket. Once in orbit, the craft opens its payload bay doors and extends a power-generating solar array, allowing it to remain in space for years.

NASA’s space shuttle was limited in mission duration to less than three weeks. NASA’s shuttle orbiter carried astronauts on every flight and used fuel cells consuming liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to produce electricity, and hydraulic actuators for its flight control surfaces, landing gear breaks and other components.

The X-37B — about one-fourth the length of NASA’s shuttle orbiters — uses electro-mechanical actuators, removing concerns about the limited useful of hydraulic control systems.

The Air Force says the X-37B “performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.”

The fifth X-37B mission, which ended Sunday, launched Sept. 7, 2017, from launch pad 39A at Kennedy aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The four previous X-37B flights took off on United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets from a nearby pad at Cape Canaveral.

The X-37B, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, has a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters) and a length of more than 29 feet (8.9 meters). The ship’s wings fit snugly inside the 17-foot-diameter (5-meter) payload shrouds on the Falcon 9 and Atlas 5 rockets.

“Today marks an incredibly exciting day for the 45th Space Wing,” said Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess, commander of the 45th Space Wing, which provides range safety support for launches and landings at Cape Canaveral. “Our team has been preparing for this event, and I am extremely proud to see their hard work and dedication culminate in today’s safe and successful landing of the X-37B.”

Boeing refurbishes the X-37B spaceplanes inside a former space shuttle hangar at the Kennedy Space Center. Ground teams were expected to roll the X-37B vehicle back to the hangar near Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building later Sunday.



Credit: U.S. Air Force

After its launch in September 2017, amateur satellite trackers found the X-37B in April 2018 in a circular 221-mile-high (356-kilometer) orbit inclined 54.5 degrees to the equator, a higher orbital inclination than the previous four X-37B missions. The higher inclination allows the spacecraft to fly over more parts of Earth on each trip around the planet.

Since then, the global community of satellite observers tracked the spaceplane as it changed altitude several times, finally maneuvering into a a low orbit with an average altitude of roughly 170 miles (274 kilometers) earlier this month. Previous X-37B missions had settled in a lower orbit in the weeks before landing.

One experiment that flew on the fifth X-37B mission was the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader payload. The experiment was designed to to test electronics and oscillating heat pipe technologies for future satellite thermal control systems.

No other mission objectives were released by the Air Force, other than statements suggesting the X-37B mission provided a ride for other undisclosed small satellites.

Any small satellites that were deployed from the X-37B have not appeared in the U.S. military’s catalog of human-made space objects, and were not registered in accordance with the United Nations Registration Convention, according to experts who track space activity.

“Unless they mean the satellites were attached and not deployed, this is a violation of the UN convention,” wrote Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who maintains an authoritative log of all global space launches.

The United States is one of 69 states that have ratified the UN Registration Convention, a list that also includes space powers such as China and Russia.

Ted Molczan, a leader in the global community of hobbyists who expertly monitor satellite movements, said the only two entries in the U.S. military’s catalog of human-made space objects attributed to the fifth X-37B mission were the spaceplane itself and its Falcon 9 upper stage. He added he was not aware of any sightings of satellites that may have been deployed by the X-37B.

If the X-37B released small satellites in orbit, it would be the first time that the United States or Russia have “blatantly flouted” the UN Registration Convention, McDowell tweeted.

“It is true that China and some other countries have not been fully compliant with the convention, but those cases did not involve deliberate withholding of information about secret military satellites,” McDowell wrote.

Boeing has manufactured two X-37B spaceplanes for the Air Force, and the next X-37B mission is scheduled to launch between April and June 2020 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.

Here is a list of the X-37B missions to date:


Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 1
(first flight of Vehicle No. 1)
Launch: April 22, 2010, on Atlas 5 rocket
Landing: Dec. 3 2010, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Duration: 224 days


Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 2
(first flight of Vehicle No. 2)
Launch: March 5, 2011, on Atlas 5 rocket
Landing: June 16, 2012, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Duration: 469 days


Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 3
(second flight of Vehicle No. 1)
Launch: Dec. 11, 2012, on Atlas 5 rocket
Landing: Oct. 17, 2014, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Duration: 675 days


Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 4
(unconfirmed which vehicle)
Launch: May 20, 2015, on Atlas 5 rocket
Landing: May 7, 2017, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Duration: 718 days


Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5
(unconfirmed which vehicle)
Launch: Sept. 7, 2017, on Falcon 9 rocket
Landing: Oct. 27, 2019, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Duration: 780 days


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/27/u-s-militarys-x-37b-spaceplane-lands-in-florida/

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 30, 2019, 05:19 »

Offline Adam.Przybyla

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Październik 30, 2019, 13:30 »
Bla bla bla ...
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV1jIPEj2a0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV1jIPEj2a0</a>
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X-37B spaceplane to carry DoD and NASA experiments in upcoming mission
by Sandra Erwin — May 6, 2020 [SN]


X-37B spaceplane. Credit: Boeing

The X-37B Operational Test Vehicle 6 will be launched to low Earth orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
WASHINGTON — The sixth mission of the U.S. Air Force’s reusable X-37B spaceplane is scheduled to launch May 16 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The X-37B Operational Test Vehicle 6 will be launched to low Earth orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office owns the Boeing-made spaceplane, which flies and lands autonomously. The U.S. Space Force is responsible for the launch, on-orbit operations and landing of the vehicle.

(...)
Source: https://spacenews.com/x-37b-spaceplane-to-carry-dod-and-nasa-experiments-in-upcoming-mission/

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Payloads revealed for next flight of X-37B military spaceplane
May 6, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN


The X-37B spacecraft is encapsulated inside the Atlas 5 rocket’s payload fairing inside a processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: U.S. Space Force

The next flight of the U.S. military’s reusable X-37B spaceplane — scheduled for liftoff May 16 from Cape Canaveral — will carry more experiments into orbit than any of the winged ship’s previous missions, including two payloads for NASA and a small deployable satellite built by Air Force Academy cadets.

(...)
Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/06/payloads-revealed-for-next-flight-of-x-37b-military-spaceplane/

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U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane off to its sixth mission
by Sandra Erwin — May 17, 2020 [SN]


United Launch Alliance launched an Atlas 5 rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane May 17, 2020. Credit: ULA

The Air Force said this mission will carry more experiments than any of the previous X-37B flights.
WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance on May 17 launched an Atlas 5 rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane to orbit for its sixth mission. The vehicle lifted off at 09:14 AM Eastern time from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The aircraft separated from the launch vehicle 3 minutes and 40 seconds after liftoff, ULA said.

The launch was originally scheduled on Saturday, May 16, but was scrubbed due to ground winds.

The X-37B is an autonomous reusable spaceplane sent to low Earth orbit for long missions that can last up to two years. The aircraft that was launched on Sunday — Operational Test Vehicle 6 — carries several U.S. military and NASA science experiments. The Air Force operates two X-37B spacecraft made by Boeing.

The spaceplane is a derivative of the X-37A designed by NASA in the late 1990s to deploy from the space shuttle. The program later was transferred to the Defense Department as is now managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

(...)
Source: https://spacenews.com/u-s-air-force-x-37b-spaceplane-off-to-its-sixth-mission/

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No nie no, Orionidzie, ten podlinkowany artykuł oraz dwa poprzednie w 100% nie dotyczą misji OTV-5. Raczej powinieneś otworzyć wątek pt "Linki medialne - misja OTV-6" (albo coś w tym stylu), ale nie dla OTV-5.

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No nie no, Orionidzie, ten podlinkowany artykuł oraz dwa poprzednie w 100% nie dotyczą misji OTV-5. Raczej powinieneś otworzyć wątek pt "Linki medialne - misja OTV-6" (albo coś w tym stylu), ale nie dla OTV-5.
Mamy wątek poświęcony OTV-6. A w tym wątku generalnie są zamieszczane artykuły dotyczące całego programu.
Nieporozumienie może się brać z tego, że tytuły wątków biorą się od pierwszego artykułu. W innym miejscu powinien się znaleźć spis szczegółowy artykułów z tego wątku z podziałem na konkretne misje  :)

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Maj 17, 2020, 16:48 »
Why a microwave-beam experiment will launch aboard the Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane
By Rafi Letzter - Staff Writer 2 days ago [Livescience]

The scientific experiment offers a first look at the secretive space plane's orbital activities.


A Boeing image shows the X-37B in its capsule before launch. (Image: © Boeing/US Space Force)

A secretive military space plane will soon test the idea of using microwave beams to send solar power to Earth from space. The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane is expected to launch into orbit Saturday (May 16) with an experiment onboard that tests the possibility.

The Photovoltaic Radiofrequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment (PRAM-FX) represents the first orbital test of a sci-fi technology first envisioned in the 19th century — solar satellite power. Build a big solar array in orbit, the idea goes, and it could collect enough sunlight (unfiltered by atmospheric effects or clouds,) to generate a powerful beam of microwaves. A collection station on Earth would then convert that beam into useful power. Launch any satellite into a high enough orbit and it will receive a near-constant stream of sunlight, with only brief passes through the Earth's shadow. A whole constellation of solar arrays might offer uninterrupted 24/7 power.

"The idea got a lot of attention, and sort of came into its own in the late 60s, early 70s, when there became an imperative to explore energy sources other than fossil fuels ," when fossil fuel supplies became unstable and prices skyrocketed, said Paul Jaffe, a civilian electronics engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and leader of the NRL's beamed energy research.

(...)
Source: https://www.livescience.com/microwave-beam-military-space-plane.html

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane lands after 780 days in orbit
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Maj 17, 2020, 17:00 »
No nie no, Orionidzie, ten podlinkowany artykuł oraz dwa poprzednie w 100% nie dotyczą misji OTV-5. Raczej powinieneś otworzyć wątek pt "Linki medialne - misja OTV-6" (albo coś w tym stylu), ale nie dla OTV-5.
Mamy wątek poświęcony OTV-6. A w tym wątku generalnie są zamieszczane artykuły dotyczące całego programu.
Nieporozumienie może się brać z tego, że tytuły wątków biorą się od pierwszego artykułu. W innym miejscu powinien się znaleźć spis szczegółowy artykułów z tego wątku z podziałem na konkretne misje  :)

Moim zdaniem ten wątek powinien mieć w takim razie tytuł nie od pierwszego artykułu, ale w takim razie właśnie od całego programu. Możemy tak zrobić? To jest najbardziej sensowne.

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B secret spaceplane
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Maj 18, 2020, 18:17 »
Upgraded X-37B spaceplane rockets into orbit aboard Atlas 5 launcher
May 17, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


A 197-foot-tall (60-meter) Atlas 5 rocket climbs into the sky over Cape Canaveral on Sunday. Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now

Darting through low clouds, the US Air Force’s reusable X-37B spaceplane rode a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket into orbit Sunday, debuting upgrades to accommodate additional scientific experiments, a dishwasher-sized tech demo satellite, and classified military objectives.

Riding 860,000 pounds of thrust from its RD-180 main engine, the 197-foot-tall (60-meter) Atlas 5 rocket lumbered off Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT) Sunday.

The kerosene-fueled booster engine powered the rocket through a low cloud layer, and the Atlas 5 disappeared from the view of spectators within seconds. A powerful rumble left in the Atlas 5’s wake moved across the Florida spaceport, lingering after the rocket’s ascent was obscured by clouds.

(...)
Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/17/upgraded-x-37b-spaceplane-rockets-into-orbit-aboard-atlas-5-launcher/

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B spaceplane wins prized aeronautical award
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Sierpień 30, 2020, 22:44 »
Air Force X-37B spaceplane wins prized aeronautical award
by Sandra Erwin — August 13, 2020 [SN]


X-37B spaceplane. Credit: U.S. Space Force

The National Aeronautic Association awarded the Boeing X-37B the 2019 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B autonomous spaceplane won the 2019 Collier Trophy, awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association for American achievement in aviation and space, the NAA announced Aug. 13.

The X-37B was one of nine nominees that included NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft. The NAA said the X-37B won for “developing and employing the world’s only reusable, autonomous spaceplane, which logged more than 2,865 days in orbit across five missions, changing access to space and serving as the nation’s workhorse in space experimentation and technology.”

The reusable spaceplane is sent to low Earth orbit for long missions that can last up to two years. The Air Force operates two X-37B spacecraft made by Boeing.

The spaceplane is a derivative of the X-37A designed by NASA in the late 1990s to deploy from the space shuttle. The program later was transferred to the Defense Department and is now managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

Originally designed for missions of 270 days, the X-37B has set endurance records during each of its five completed flights. Its first mission launched in 2010. In 2019, the spaceplane broke its own on-orbit endurance record of 718 days.

The sixth mission of the X-37B spaceplane lifted off May 17, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Randall Walden, director and program executive officer of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said the service plans to continue to support the X-37B program. “Right now we plan on keeping it,” he said Aug. 13 during a Mitchell Institute webinar. “There’s a lot of interest in reusable space vehicles.”

“The Collier Trophy celebrates the record-setting mission of the X-37B,” Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said in a statement. “The X-37B advances reusable spaceplane technologies and operates experiments in space that are returned for further examination on Earth.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/air-force-x-37b-spaceplane-wins-prized-aeronautical-award/

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Odp: [SN] Air Force X-37B spaceplane wins prized aeronautical award
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Sierpień 30, 2020, 22:44 »