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X-37B Launched on third mission

x-37b otv spaceplane orbital test vehicle

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14 replies to this topic

#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Secret Space Plane Just Launched on a Mystery Mission


www.wired.com said:

After a delay of nearly two months owing to a technical glitch, the Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane blasted off again from Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop an Atlas rocket on Tuesday.

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..

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"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    and then

and then

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

It will be interesting to see if they break their recent record for longevity "on station".  I think it's amusing that the Chinese are a bit perturbed by something they seemingly have so far been unable to hack in to :)

Edited by and then, 11 December 2012 - 07:58 PM.

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#3    HoboMoo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:27 PM

So why are we allowed to do this shiz with no repercussions when North Korea can't without everyone getting mad?


#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

View PostHoboMoo, on 12 December 2012 - 08:27 PM, said:

So why are we allowed to do this shiz with no repercussions when North Korea can't without everyone getting mad?

Because space is open to all to explore and utilise.

North Korea is using this to get around a UN restriction on it developing long range missiles. The US is breaking no laws when it launches this vehicle, North Korea IS breaking laws and international restrictions.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#5    highdesert50

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:24 AM

A replacement for the aged U2 perhaps packing some tactical countermeasures. Yes, this would be justifiably irksome to certain foreign governments.


#6    DONTEATUS

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:34 AM

View Posthighdesert50, on 13 December 2012 - 02:24 AM, said:

A replacement for the aged U2 perhaps packing some tactical countermeasures. Yes, this would be justifiably irksome to certain foreign governments.
The most logical answer yet ! The U.S. still needs to see whats going on around the world every day ! That little X-37B fills the bill. In all aspects ! Even a few we know not about !

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#7    ROGER

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:12 AM

And I simply like the idea of a flying space craft. Upload cost verses Mass be damned . If the powers that be want more interest from the general public on any Space exploration they should make it " LOOK GOOD " !

I for one would hate to be seen in a space vehicle that looks like a  " BORG " cube! :alien:

Edited by ROGER, 13 December 2012 - 03:12 AM.

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#8    ROGER

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:14 AM

Now this I can get behind ! http://www.nasaspace...tests-upcoming/

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#9    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

View PostDONTEATUS, on 13 December 2012 - 02:34 AM, said:


The most logical answer yet !
Actually, no it isn't.

If the X-37B was a replacement for the U2s it would have to be capable of taking high resolution images. High resolution means large optics. The current Key Hole (aka Big Bird) spy satellites have mirrors the size of the one on the Hubble Space Telescope. The X-37B is much too small to carry such optics.

Then there is the flexibility. A U2 can be launched at short notice to overfly any where in the world. The X-37 needs months of preparation. Once in orbit it has limited manoeuvrability meaning it can't easily overfly a trouble spot at short notice.

Whatever it is doing up there it isn't doing the job of a U2.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#10    skookum

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

Makes me wonder if it's purpose is to monitor what Chinese spacecrafts do when they are in orbit.


#11    The Russian Hare

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:50 AM

I love reading about this thing. It's just so mysterious.

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#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

View Postskookum, on 14 December 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

Makes me wonder if it's purpose is to monitor what Chinese spacecrafts do when they are in orbit.

This is also highly unlikely. Trying to observe on satellite moving at over 17,000 mph from another satellite moving at over 17,000 mph is extremely difficult, unless they are in the same orbit. The OTV has been tracked in orbit on both its previous flights by amateurs and it has not manoeuvred close to any other satellites, Chinese or otherwise.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    DONTEATUS

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

ANy bets on the real capabilities ? Your right on some of the points Waspie about the X-37B but you cant tell us that the Airforce  isnt using it for sim-Flights . Theres a real reason that its up there besides training.
IMO :tsu: :gun:

This is a Work in Progress!

#14    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

View PostDONTEATUS, on 16 December 2012 - 05:41 AM, said:

ANy bets on the real capabilities ? Your right on some of the points Waspie about the X-37B but you cant tell us that the Airforce  isnt using it for sim-Flights . Theres a real reason that its up there besides training.
IMO :tsu: :gun:
Who said it was just for t4raining? Training for what?

I have never said it doesn't have a purpose, I just don't know what that purpose is. However it is possible to exclude some theories.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#15    DONTEATUS

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:57 AM

Well a little bird tweeted into my ear,but he would have to Kill everyone If it got out what there doing,I just know my last address is not where Im broadcasting from !
THe X-37B is quite the new toy in the inventory Indeed. Looks simple but Looks are always not what they seem to be.
ITs all in the back seat ! :gun: :tu:

This is a Work in Progress!





Also tagged with x-37b, otv, spaceplane, orbital test vehicle

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