Tuesday, March 13, 2012

X-37B, a vehicle for the space future


Zakutnyaya Olga
12.03.2012, 19:09
X-37B, automatic spacecraft of the US Air Force, has just celebrated 1 year in orbit and keeps working. Buran, the Soviet unmanned craft which made its first and only flight in late 1980s is thought to be a prototype for the American machine.
X-37B, automatic spacecraft of the US Air Force, has just celebrated 1 year in orbit and keeps working. Buran, the Soviet unmanned craft which made its first and only flight in late 1980s is thought to be a prototype for the American machine. Although X-37B’s specific tasks were never made public, some experts suggest testing of details for prospective military spacecraft among the most probable. However, its real importance for space technology may be even greater.The official name for X-37B is OTV-2 (Orbital Test Vehicle), thus meaning that the spacecraft is the second in the OTV series. Its predecessor OTV-1 flew between April 22 and December 3, 2010, having spent more than 224 days on orbit. The spacecraft performed automatic landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, thus repeating the twenty-year-old Soviet achievement of Buran, which performed automatic landing in 1988.

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