View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
September 4, 2017

USAF prepares for fifth mission to launch X-37B OTV spacecraft

The US Air Force (USAF) Rapid Capabilities Office is preparing the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) for its fifth mission on 7 September.

The US Air Force (USAF) Rapid Capabilities Office is preparing the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) for its fifth mission on 7 September.

The Rapid Capabilities Office has entered final launch preparations ahead of the scheduled X-37B OTV launch on-board a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

As part of the mission, the X-37B OTV will carry small satellite ride shares and perform on-orbit testing of emerging space technologies.

The spacecraft will also test experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipe technologies in the long-duration space environment through the Air Force Research Laboratory Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader payload.

The fifth OTV mission will mark the X-37B programme’s first launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

It will be launched into a higher inclination orbit than prior missions to further expand the X-37B’s orbital envelope, the USAF stated.

USAF Rapid Capabilities Office director Randy Walden said: “The many firsts on this mission make the upcoming OTV launch a milestone for the programme.

"The many firsts on this mission make the upcoming OTV launch a milestone for the programme."

“It is our goal to continue advancing the X-37B OTV so it can more fully support the growing space community.”

The fourth X-37B mission was conducted on 7 May.

Boeing has designed X-37B OTV for vertical launch to low-Earth orbit altitudes where it can perform long-duration space technology experimentation and testing.

The unmanned OTV is capable of autonomously re-entering the atmosphere, descending and landing horizontally on a runway.


Image: The USAF’s fourth X-37B OTV mission was conducted on 7 May. Photo: courtesy of the USAF.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The defence industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU