Items tagged with x-37b

An amateur astronomer and satellite tracker named Ralph Vandebergh has captured a very rare image of the secret U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane in orbit. The spacecraft is very small and difficult to find in orbit, but Vandebergh says that he had been hunting for the spacecraft in orbit for months before he finally found it in May. He snapped the fuzzy image of the X-37B seen below in June. He used the same trajectory from his initial discovery of the spacecraft to predict where it should be in mid-June when he was ready to snap the images. The catch was that the spacecraft failed to meet the expected time and path because it had shifted to a different orbit. Vandebergh says that a network of... Read more...
SpaceX has been on a roll lately with its Falcon 9 launches. The company has stuck to a rapid pace, launching payloads into Earth's orbit every few weeks (or more often in some cases) during 2017. Today, SpaceX successfully launched one of its most important (and classified) payloads to date: the U.S. Air Force's Boeing X-37B spy plane. This marks the first time that SpaceX was granted the opportunity to use its Falcon 9 to launch the X-37B, and it shows that the Air Force has confidence in the rocket's reliability rating. The X-37B's four previous missions began with it being thrust into orbit atop an Atlas V booster. Given the top-secret nature of the X-37B's [spying] mission, there's little... Read more...
Residents near Cape Canaveral, Florida were awakened by a strange alarm clock on Sunday morning. The United States military’s secretive and experimental Orbital Test Vehicle, or X-37B space plane, broke through the sound barrier on its return to earth awakening many residents. It landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 7:47am EST. Image from: United States Air Force X-37B program manager Lt. Col. Ron Fehlen commented, “The landing of OTV-4 marks another success for the X-37B program and the nation. We are incredibly pleased with the performance of the space vehicle and are excited about the data gathered to support the scientific and space communities. We are extremely proud of the dedication... Read more...