Home Other 29th successful launch of the year. USA. Military launch. “Space Plane” X-37.

29th successful launch of the year. USA. Military launch. “Space Plane” X-37.

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Secret, the only … What does it do for the U.S. military in orbit no one knows. It is believed to be a platform for practicing advanced military space technology. Conspiracy theorists believe that it is a “space interceptor” to inspect (and destroy ?) enemy satellites. Or to deliver bombs to drop on the enemy…
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29th successful launch of the year. USA. Military launch. "Space Plane" X-37.
Lack of information breeds fears and fantasies. Most likely there are no impressive opportunities to change orbits and conduct vigorous maneuvers due to limitations of the propulsion system (which is confirmed by its passive behavior in orbit in the past missions). It has two qualities – the ability to return to Earth with the results of experiments and equipment samples, as well as a long time of active work in orbit (over 2 years). There are two devices in service. At the moment, but it is not exact, number 1 flew. Orbital parameters and time of the upcoming flight are unknown.
Another feature of this flight is some sort of “service module” attached to the stern of the vehicle. The volume of the regular cargo compartment is limited. So they decided to bolt an additional module to the “airplane” that will not return to Earth, but allows you to place additional equipment.
Among the known equipment and experiments (there are some) will be a microsatellite from Air Force cadets, seeds and materials from NASA (to test long-term exposure in outer space), and some sort of unit from Navy sailors to convert solar energy into microwave directional radiation for transmission to Earth.
Of the features that always get noted – it is reusable (but not from Musk. but from Boeing (f-u-u-u)) and is launched (in five missions out of six) on Atlas V launchers, which are powered by Russian RD-180 engines. However, SpaceX also received a contract from the military for one launch (the 5th mission), which was successfully implemented in ’17.
29th successful launch of the year. USA. Military launch. "Space Plane" X-37.
Two links to additional material on this mission :
Mission information from everydayastrounavt
Article about the flight from the NSF portal

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