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USA 212

X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle aka OTV 1


Designation 36514 / 10015A
Launch date 22 Apr 2010
Country of origin United States
Mission Military: space plane
Perigee/Apogee 399/419 km
Inclination 40°
Launch vehicle Atlas 5 #21

The X-37B is an unmanned, reusable orbital space plane that can stay in space for up to nine months before flying back to Earth. The primary landing site is Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The X-37B programme officially is to support the Department of Defense's technology risk reduction efforts for new satellite systems.

Resembling a miniature space shuttle, the Boeing-built plane is 8.9 m and has a wing-span of 4.5 m. The vehicle has a mass of approx. 5,000 kg, a cargo bay, a hydrazine propulsion system for attitude control and orbital manoeuvres, and a deployable solar array. IIt can operate at altitudes between 200 and 920 km.

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