This had been on the cards for a while now hasn't it, sure I saw something about this proposal in Spaceflight magazine last year.
It suggests that the X-37B program has a lengthier future than just a few test flights. Wonder if they will manufacturer more vehicles, considering how long they stay in orbit perhaps they might keep more than one in orbit at once.
Quote from: Star One on 01/04/2014 07:03 PMIt suggests that the X-37B program has a lengthier future than just a few test flights. Wonder if they will manufacturer more vehicles, considering how long they stay in orbit perhaps they might keep more than one in orbit at once.Which only emphasizes the question of what are they doing.This is obviously an operational, not experimental mission. And the fact that it is USAF and not NRO is unusual for such a classified mission (although it is entirely possible that USAF is merely the cover for NRO).
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — After a 22-year hiatus, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense are resuming a partnership for a classified program that will be based at the Kennedy Space Center.NASA flew secret missions for the military 10 times between January 1985 and December 1992, setting up a separate firing room, blacking out communications and abiding by a host of restrictions and operational procedures to accommodate the Defense Department’s demand for secrecy. This time around, NASA intends to be nothing more than a host for the Air Force’s classified X-37B program, which will lease two of the space shuttle’s mothballed processing hangars.“It is different from shuttle. It’s not the same vehicle that has to flow through the [Vehicle Assembly Building] and that does a lot of the same shuttle operations [as nonclassified missions]. X-37B is basically a separable capability in one facility,” Scott Colloredo, director of KSC’s Center Planning and Development Directorate, told SpaceNews.
As small as these vehicles are, the fact they are getting two OPFs only makes sense if the fleet is expanding or a larger follow on vehicle is planned.
1. So is it reasonable to conclude the content of the X-37B payload bay is orientation sensitive before launch? It requires vertical integration not only with the LV but also with the spacecraft?2. Also, is the front door of the OPF already high enough for X-37B to roll out encapsulated and vertical?
Maybe there is an airlock installed on the other side. Opening the front door, opens the whole facility to the outside.
Quote from: Helodriver on 11/14/2014 01:38 AMAs small as these vehicles are, the fact they are getting two OPFs only makes sense if the fleet is expanding or a larger follow on vehicle is planned.They are only getting one. Another is for CST-100 and one is unclaimed.
That would assume the inside of the OPF would now be a clean room, right?
The facility at one time was capable of supporting a clean area.