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Boeing’s reusable unmanned X-37B test vehicle returns to orbit

Posted on 11 December 2012

Launch of Atlas V OTV3 from Cape Canaveral AFS, FL. December 11, 2012

Boeing  successfully returned an unmanned U.S. Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle to orbit, continuing to demonstrate how the system provides responsive, reusable access to space.

 

An Atlas V rocket launched OTV-1, the first of two vehicles in the program, into a low Earth orbit at 1:03 p.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41.

 

The X-37B, which combines the best of aircraft and spacecraft design in an unmanned test platform, is testing reusable vehicle technologies dealing with space experimentation, risk reduction and concept-of-operations development.

 

“The second mission for OTV-1 demonstrates the vehicle is capable of multiple missions and affordable access to space,” said Paul Rusnock, vice president of Boeing Government Space Systems.

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