Thu, Jun 07, 2012
After A Year In Space, Exact Touchdown Time And Date Still Undetermined
Preparations for the second landing of the X-37B, the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
While the exact landing date and time will depend on technical and weather considerations, it is expected to occur during the early- to mid-June time frame. Space professionals from the 30th Space Wing will monitor the de-orbit and landing of the Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission, called OTV-2.
The X-37B launched March 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Since then, Vandenberg crews have conducted extensive, periodic training in preparation for landing. "The men and women of Team Vandenberg are ready to execute safe landing operations anytime and at a moment's notice," said Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing commander. It was originally scheduled to return to Earth after 270 days in orbit, but USAF officials said when that date was extended that keeping the the X-37 in orbit would "provide us with additional experimentation opportunities and allow us to extract the maximum value out of the mission.”
The overall mission of the X-37B is still not clear. The Air Force says it is strictly a test bed for other technologies, but some analysts have speculated that it could be the basis for an orbiting weapon that could be used against satellites, or as a space-capable bomber.
Also: MU-2 AOA, AMA Responds To Senate FAA Reauthorization, ANN@AEA Live 04/27-0830ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/28-1400ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/29-1100ET A report of a drone possibly colliding w>[...]
Gowdy Brothers Aerospace Looks To The Future Of Non-Recreational UAS Use FAA Airman and Airspace Rules Division announces 5,076 approved Section 333 petition grants. The FAA furthe>[...]
"Working together, we have accomplished a truly incredible amount in the last couple of years. But we’re still really at the beginning of the process. We need to start thinki>[...]
Aero Linx: Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation The foundation was created to improve aviation safety in Alaska thorough education, advocacy and research. We are a non-profit members>[...]
Common Point A significant point over which two or more aircraft will report passing or have reported passing before proceeding on the same or diverging tracks. To establish/mainta>[...]