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+.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transpo...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require super...

Silicones

Master Bond’s silicones are available in both one part and two part versions that offer...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

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

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel devel...

API Technologies Corp

Who We Are API Technologies is a dominant technology provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, ...

Most Popular Articles


Wire News provided by   

 

All Access Sponsors


Follow Us On...