Friday, April 16, 2010

X-37B Gets Ready For Launch

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is loaded into the 5 meter fairing for it's ride to orbit aboard an Atlas 5 rocket later this month. Since this is a top secret vehicle there is not much published about what it's roll will be. But from the looks of things there hasn't been much improvement in thermal protection since the space shuttles. The underside is still tiles. It look like the stabilizers are reinforced carbon carbon as is the nose, elevators and leading edges. It looks like there are thermal blankets used on the fusalage skin. It will be interesting to see how it performes in the hypersonic region. It doesnt look like it has any control surfaces on the stabelizers. I find that interesting. I guess we will have to wait and see how it flies. Go USAF and God Speed X-37B

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