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X-37

X-37

X-37
Credit: NASA

American unmanned spaceplane. The Boeing X-37 Space Maneuver Vehicle began as a subscale version of a proposed USAF manned 21st Century spaceplane. The smaller-scale X-40 tested some technologies prior to completion of the X-37A. The X-37B was the reusable space vehicle. Reusable satellite satellite built by Boeing for NASA, USAF, USA. Launched 2010 - 2015.

AKA: OTV. Status: Operational 2010. First Launch: 2010-04-22. Last Launch: 2015-05-20. Number: 4 . Gross mass: 3,200 kg (7,000 lb). Height: 8.38 m (27.49 ft). Span: 4.57 m (14.99 ft).

The X-37 Approach and Landing Test Vehicle (ALTV) was an experimental autonomous vehicle designed to demonstrate advanced space flight technologies. Drop tests of the X-37 ALTV were to be conducted at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The ALTV would be dropped five times from NASA's B-52H aircraft from approximately 12 km. Flight research objectives included verification of autonomous landing, demonstration of integrated vehicle and range operation through a Flight Operations Control Center (FOCC), verification of predicted stability and aerodynamic control effectiveness, and verification of ability to conduct flight operations for various wind speeds and different entry azimuths.

The forerunner of the X-37 ALTV, the X-40A, successfully completed a series of seven approach and landing tests at NASA Dryden in 2000 and 2001. About 20 percent smaller than the X-37, the X-40A was released from a helicopter at 4600 m during the series of unpowered glide flights. These flights validated the autonomous flight control system planned for the X-37, thereby reducing the risk of the X-37 program.

The vehicle was assembled at Boeing's High Desert Assembly, Integration and Test Facility in Palmdale, California. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., managed the X-37 program. NASA Dryden was responsible for the X-37 flight activities.


More at: X-37.

Subtopics

X-40 American unmanned spaceplane. Boeing X-40A Experimental Space Maneuver Vehicle was built to test landing technologies for the later X-37.

Family: Spaceplane, Suborbital, Technology, US Rocketplanes. Country: USA. Engines: R-4D. Launch Vehicles: Atlas V, Atlas V 501. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral LC40, Cape Canaveral LC41. Agency: Boeing. Bibliography: 7035, 13354.
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