Secretive US Air Force space plane X-37B back in orbit

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. The news on mysterious US Air Force X-37B space plane would be of interest to our readers. The US Air Force launched its robotic space plane into orbit for a fourth flight on May 19, 2015 aboard an Atlas 5 […]

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. The news on mysterious US Air Force X-37B space plane would be of interest to our readers. The US Air Force launched its robotic space plane into orbit for a fourth flight on May 19, 2015 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, in a mission aimed at testing a new engine to steer satellites, officials said. The rocket carrying the X-37B successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and officials said the scheduled return of the unmanned plane had yet to be determined. The mini-shuttle has been shrouded in secrecy and military officers have refused to discuss its purpose. But defense experts have speculated it might be meant for spying from space, fixing broken satellites or even as a space “bomber.” Captain Chris Hoyler, a spokesman for the US Air Force, told AFP the latest flight was part of efforts looking at the “technical parameters for an affordable, reusable space vehicle.” The X-37B will be testing a new orbital “thruster system” — which uses electricity and xenon — that could be employed to maneuver satellites in space, officials said. Asked if the plane could be used for surveillance, Hoyler declined to comment. The X-37B payload also includes a NASA experiment, which will study how a range of materials can endure conditions in space. The results could help scientists working on the possible design of future spacecraft. The last mission for the X-37B in 2014 extended over 674 days but officials never said what the plane was up to.


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Elon Musk- Mars transport system, spacesuit design, by the end of the year

While talking with participants in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chat Elon Musk said that by the end of this year, his company will unveil a detailed transport system designed to take humans to Mars.   He made the statement on the day the scheduled launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9, which will attempt […]
At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40, liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been postponed. A thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9’s second stage failed to perform as expected, resulting in a launch abort. SpaceX is evaluating the issue and will determine the next opportunity to launch the company's fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The next available opportunity to launch to the station would be Friday, Jan. 9 at 5:09 a.m. EST.
While talking with participants in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chat Elon Musk said that by the end of this year, his company will unveil a detailed transport system designed to take humans to Mars.   He made the statement on the day the scheduled launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9, which will attempt a daring landing of its 14-story first stage rocket on a floating launch pad after delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), was scrapped due to technical problems. The Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral has been rescheduled for this Friday, January 9. Musk admitted during the talk that he does not know the chances of the Falcon 9 successfully executing the landing. He noted a spacecraft carrying people to Mars would require “100 metric tons of useful payload” and acknowledged having learned a lot from his company’s Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon vehicle, which brings supplies to the ISS. Such a large payload will require a large spacecraft and booster system, he added. His talk covered a variety of topics, including the design of spacesuits for astronauts to wear on the Martian surface. SpaceX plans to release a spacesuit design for Mars astronauts by the end of this year, noting work is already in progress toward this goal. “We are putting a lot of effort into design aesthetics, not just utility,” said Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla Motors. “It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well.” Achieving both the practical and aesthetic objectives is a difficult task, he acknowledged. When asked whether SpaceX has plans to construct space elevators and/or “air-breathing rockets” that could enable super-fast travel, Musk said he prefers to stick with “pure rockets.” The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to develop “air-breathing rockets.” The SpaceX CEO also said he enjoys the Kerbal Space Program (KSP) video game, which allows players to simulate a space program, a move that prompted KSP to add his endorsement to its website.
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Space Shuttle Launch Photo

This picture was taken by James Vernacotola. It was taken in Ponte Vedra from the top of the 210 bridge crossing the intracoastal looking south towards St, Augustine and Cape Canaveral. He got up very early and took this picture of the last nighttime space shuttle launch and was kind enough to share with his […]

    This picture was taken by James Vernacotola. It was taken in Ponte Vedra from the top of the 210 bridge crossing the intracoastal looking south towards St, Augustine and Cape Canaveral. He got up very early and took this picture of the last nighttime space shuttle launch and was kind enough to share with his co-workers and whomever else would appreciate the beauty of the space launch. He took the picture using a tri-pod and the elapsed time for the picture was several minutes in order to get the full fire-trail (this is why the stars are little lines instead of dots).

    Monday, February 8, 2010 @ 4:14 am
    Top of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge in Ponte Vedra, FL
    115 Miles from the launch
    34 Degrees outside!