U.S. Air Force and aerospace industry partner to launch reusable unmanned x-37B orbital test vehicle

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., 12 Dec. 2012. U.S. Air Force officials, in partnership with aerospace technology firms Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Pratt & Whitney, ATK, and others, returned a reusable, unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) to orbit. The event marks a first: A single OTV has now been launched into space twice, proving that reusable spacecraft can withstand multiple space launches and missions.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launched the Orbital Test Vehicle, also known as the Boeing X-37B, for the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) on 11 Dec. 2012 at 1:03 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The X-37B unmanned test platform, combining aircraft and spacecraft design characteristics, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.

"The second mission for OTV-1 demonstrates the vehicle is capable of multiple missions and affordable access to space," says Paul Rusnock, vice president of Boeing Government Space Systems.
OTV-1 was first launched in April 2010 and returned to Earth that December. In fact, it is the United States' first unmanned vehicle to return from space and land on its own; the space shuttle had been the only space vehicle capable of landing on a runway.

A second vehicle, OTV-2, set a record for a reusable space vehicle in June 2012 upon completion of a 469-day mission. Previously, Space Shuttle Discovery held the record with an accumulated total of 365 days in orbit.

Boeing, with its space-based unmanned vehicle technology, also supports the Air Force Research Lab's X-40 program, NASA's X-37 program, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's X-37 Approach, Landing, and Test Vehicle program.

Follow Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter (@Avionics_Intel), LinkedIn, and Google+.

Get the Intelligent Inbox Bi-weekly Newsletter Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Comercial Aviation
  • Avionics
  • ATC/ATM
  • SATCOM

Related Products

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU...

General Micro "Atom" XPC40X Rugged, Ultra-Small, Ultra-Low-Power Intel Atom™ CPU SBC

The XPC40X Atom is a rugged, low cost, ultra-low power, lightweight, Atom™ based comput...

General Micro's VS295 Eclipse

The VS295 Eclipse is fifth generation, VME SBC module based on GMS, upgradable CPU tech...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading supplier...

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board comput...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electron...
Wire News provided by   

 

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a comple...

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of th...

Most Popular Articles


All Access Sponsors


Follow Us On...


Our Tweets from AUVSI 2015