VIDEO: Payton in April: [view]
This marks a first step toward Air Force deployment of a fully reusable, responsive space capability.
And not the boogie-man "menace" touted by nations using state medias to create their own fake "Wiki-Leak hoax" material. :D
X-37B Completes (her) 220-Day Mission: [read]X-37B weighs in at about 11,000 pounds and has a lovely wingspan of just over 14 feet across... Seen (below) in her early days:
The [X-37B] 29-ft. long, 15-ft. span vehicle, was originally built for a NASA program; and was taken over by the Air Force which initially worked the program in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency....
Lessons learned from the secret project will be used for mission planning of the second Boeing-built X-37B, OTV-2, currently being prepared for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on an Atlas V in the March-April 2011 time period. #
Image credit: USAF (X-37B)
The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (Afrco), which manages the X-37B program, says “OTV-1’s de-orbit and landing mark the transition from the on-orbit demonstration phase to a refurbishment phase,” but gives no indication when it will return to space. [read]
Photo: The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle in construction, at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Fla... The X-37B is the U.S.'s newest and most advanced unmanned re-entry spacecraft.
In Other News...
U.S. SpaceX - Updates: #
Cape Canaveral, FL – On December 8, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to re-enter a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit. SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:43 AM EST from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. [IMAGES!]