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News Link • Military

Experimental X-37B Robot Space Plane to Launch Today

• Space
The United States Air Force plans to launch its first robotic X-37B space plane Thursday on a mission that is a forerunner of things to come. A second mini-space plane is already under contract and is projected to be launched next year.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

8 PM EST tonight launch:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123200958

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

In the 50's they used to launch satellites that photographed the earth (the USSR) and sent the film back to earth for processing in a capsule.  Digital transmission of images rendered this unnecessary and long lived satellites were born.

This looks like a reusable satellite platform.  But why?  That would imply a long term surveillance project looking for changes over years.  Reusable due to expense [$20,000 toilet seats], or the ability to put a varied package up on short notice...  This is low earth orbit.  Does the package need to be kept extremely cold, so you have liquid helium or some other cold fluid that needs to be replenished annually? 


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