Air Force gives a rare look at the research going to orbit in its X-37B spaceplane #Area51 #Research #Space
The Air Force notoriously keeps things close to its chest. With the amount of classified projects they must be working on its exciting to learn some info about this X-37B spaceplane (I love that its called a spaceplane).
Also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, the Boeing -designed X-37B has performed five prior missions, amounting to a total of nearly eight years in orbit; the last mission alone was 780 days. But while the craft’s owners (the Air Force, though it is used by many others) are proud to tout its remarkable longevity and reliability, they rarely if ever admit what they’re sending up, or what (if anything) it brings down.
On one occasion the Air Force said that the craft tests “advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing,” which narrows it down a bit.
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