Author Topic: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES  (Read 101634 times)

Online zubenelgenubi

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I wonder if the X-37B is able to be launched on other vehicles?

Cross-post:
Didn't they choose the wingspan so that it would fit inside the payload bay of the shuttle?

My understanding is that the dimensions of the craft were frozen before changing launchers from STS to Delta II, no payload fairing.  Or, the USAF chose not to change the dimensions, even though Shuttle was no longer the launcher.

(The launcher was then changed again from Delta II to EELV, with payload fairing.)

I also >think< I remember one of our NSF experts stating that a Delta IV Medium could be used to launch an X-37B, but it was chosen against because of greater cost?

EDIT: On Gunter's Space Page, the alternate launch vehicle is stated to be Delta IV-M+(5,2).
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Online ChrisGebhardt

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A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility

(Great reporting!  :) )

Quote
In fact, after landing, the X-37B is expected to be towed to OPF-1 for post-flight servicing operations. This operation has been tested several times with a mock-up space plane.
This appears to be "new news," but not unexpected.  Do you know when this happened?  Were practice moves also performed at Vandenberg before OTV-1?

Quote
Presently, two X-37Bs are known to exist, with the first flying the OTV-1 and -3 missions and the second flying the OTV-2 and -4 missions.

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
***

Questions for any knowledgeable peanut in the NSF Peanut Gallery:

Pardon me if this question has been asked and answered.  Is there any reason PRECLUDING launching an X-37B from Vandenberg?

Could an X-37B in polar orbit land at KSC?  (Another way of asking this question--if Shuttles had launched from Vandenberg, could they have used the KSC SLC as a back-up landing location?)

Thank you in advance!

There are pictures of the test tows and mock-up at KSC.  One is included at the bottom of the article.

The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."

Nothing would preclude X-37B from launching from Vandenberg if a polar orbit mission was required.  Yes, the SLF can be used for polar orbit landings.

Online Chris Bergin

Air Force Orbital Test Vehicle Lands at Kenned Space Center (KSC)
Yesterday, one of our spaceport partners, the U.S. Air Force, successfully landed their  X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at the Space Florida-operated Shuttle Landing Facility here at KSC.  I am proud to congratulate the Air Force on their program accomplishment and welcome them as a member of the KSC multiuser spaceport family.  What an outstanding use of a runway and processing facilities that once prepared for launch, and landed, the Space Shuttle and now support a new orbital vehicle.
 
This achievement is just one more example of how KSC is a vibrant spaceport full of activity.  We continue to forge new relationships with commercial space industry and other partners to expand the spaceport.  We enable organizations to achieve mission success through a comprehensive range of resources that is unmatched anywhere in the world.  Having industry partners enables us, as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to do what we do best, explore the unknown and forge the path to send humankind to Mars and beyond.
 
 
Bob Cabana

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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A couple more images released.

Offline Rocket Science

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I'm always wondering how much those stubby wings, body-flap, control surfaces, gear and TPS actually actually tally-up to weight-wise for a vehicle that will remain unnamed... ;D
« Last Edit: 05/09/2017 09:30 PM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Online Machdiamond

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The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.

Offline Rocket Science

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The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.
The relatively small vehicle size compared to the runway width really adds to the illusory excitement when viewing... :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"

Offline Star One

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Someone was asking on another forum that shouldn't the hall thruster on the back have been stained by the conventional RCS?

Online jacqmans

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Online Machdiamond

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Someone was asking on another forum that shouldn't the hall thruster on the back have been stained by the conventional RCS?

The Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5A thruster has a protective cover in the post landing images.

http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne%E2%80%99s-modified-xr-5-hall-thruster-demonstrates-successful-orbit-operation


Offline jcm

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A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility

 

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
 



The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."
 


Can you source this more precisely?  At the time of launch and shortly after there was discussion on NSF
that in fact USAF *refused* to specify which X-37B it was.   Exactly who said it was the 2nd flight of the 2nd one, was it someone official?  This is definitely new news and I'm skeptical of the quote.

« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 02:06 PM by jcm »
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
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Offline Star One

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A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility

 

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
 



The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."
 


Can you source this more precisely?  At the time of launch and shortly after there was discussion on NSF
that in fact USAF *refused* to specify which X-37B it was.   Exactly who said it was the 2nd flight of the 2nd one, was it someone official?  This is definitely new news and I'm skeptical of the quote.

Same here as far as I am aware the Air Force never said which of the two vehicles it was.

Offline daveglo

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The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.


Ok, so in videos associated with the landing, and apparently used for the photo analysis, while watching the whole thing, I see a space shuttle sitting out in the open off to the side of the runway.

What shuttle?

Online Ictogan

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The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.


Ok, so in videos associated with the landing, and apparently used for the photo analysis, while watching the whole thing, I see a space shuttle sitting out in the open off to the side of the runway.

What shuttle?
From what I've read it's space shuttle inspiration, a Mockup shuttle.

Online Perchlorate

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Makes more sense if you capitalize it:  Inspiration.

Online rpapo

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« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 04:55 PM by rpapo »
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline Alter Sachse

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #436 on: 06/07/2017 10:26 AM »
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A

Offline Newton_V

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #437 on: 06/07/2017 02:01 PM »
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
Why are you associating AFSPC-7 with this launch?

Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #438 on: 06/07/2017 03:46 PM »
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
Why are you associating AFSPC-7 with this launch?
I suspect Alter's information is from Salo's US Launch Schedule listings...updated yesterday after the news,
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg1680751#msg1680751
which also contained this in the 2018 listings:
TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 03:51 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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