Secret Air Force spacecraft returns from 220 day mission

September 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgWhile NASA may be retiring their fleet of space shuttles it seems that the U.S. Air Force is looking to build a fleet of their own. Friday morning marked the return of the Air Force’s first unmanned re-entry spacecraft after a seven-month mission. The spacecraft was initially launched in April from Cape Canaveral through the help of an Atlas V rocket.The X-37B, as it has been designated, looks like a mini space shuttle measuring only 29 feet long with a wing span of almost 15 feet. It returned to Earth landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base after an autonomous reentry marking the successful end of the 220 day mission. Of course, being a miltary aircraft full details of exactly what that mission involved were not available publicly. All the military would say is that the spacecraft allowed for on-board experiments to be conducted and that all objectives for the first mission were completed.AdChoices广告The development of the original X-37 began in July 1998 when NASA negotiated a four-year cooperative agreement with Boeing to develop the advanced flight demonstrator. The X-37 was actually the third in a series of the advanced reusable demonstrators which included the X-33 and the X-34. The X-37B is a modification of the original spacecraft that is currently managed as part of a joint team consisting of the 30th Space Wing, Boeing and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. Lieutenant Colonel Troy Giese serves as the X-37B program manager. The exact cost of the X-37B program is unknown, but it is estimated to have cost hundreds of millions.Read more at AFP and NASAlast_img read more