X-37B

Active Cargo Spaceplane Payload Capacity: 227 kg Diameter: 4.55 m Height: 8.92 m

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April 22, 2010

It is boosted into space by a launch vehicle, then re-enters Earth's atmosphere and lands as a spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Space Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies.

Flight Life

Multiple years in orbit

Description

The Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), is a reusable robotic spacecraft. It is boosted into space by a launch vehicle, then re-enters Earth's atmosphere and lands as a spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Space Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. It is a 120-percent-scaled derivative of the earlier Boeing X-40. The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the United States Department of Defense in 2004. Until 2019, the program was managed by Air Force Space Command.

History

In 1999, NASA selected Boeing Integrated Defense Systems to design and develop an orbital vehicle, built by the California branch of Boeing's Phantom Works. Over a four-year period, a total of US$192 million was spent on the project, with NASA contributing US$109 million, the U.S. Air Force US$16 million, and Boeing US$67 million. In late 2002, a new US$301 million contract was awarded to Boeing as part of NASA's Space Launch Initiative framework. The X-37 was transferred from NASA to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on 13 September 2004. Thereafter, the program became a classified project. DARPA promoted the X-37 as part of the independent space policy that the United States Department of Defense has pursued since the 1986 Challenger disaster.



Falcon 9
Success
4 days, 22 hours ago
Starlink Group 6-52
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Falcon 9
Success
5 days, 23 hours ago
Starlink Group 6-51
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 23 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Long March 2D
Success
1 week, 1 day ago
SuperView Neo 3-01
Launch Area 4 (SLS-2 / 603) - Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

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Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Starlink Group 6-49
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 23 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
USSF-62
Space Launch Complex 4E - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

First Weather System Follow-on (WSF) satellite. WSF-M (Weather System Follow-on - Microwave) is the next-generation operational environmental sate…


Angara A5/Blok DM-03
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
Vostochny Angara Test Flight
Cosmodrome Site 1A - Vostochny Cosmodrome, Siberia, Russian Federation

First test launch of the Angara A5 launch vehicle from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The rocket will carry a mass simulator payload.


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 6 days ago
Starlink Group 6-48
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 23 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Delta IV Heavy
Success
2 weeks ago
NROL-70
Space Launch Complex 37B - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Classified payload for the NRO. Last flight of the Delta IV Heavy rocket.


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 1 day ago
Bandwagon 1 (Dedicated Mid-Inclination Rideshare)
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

Dedicated rideshare flight to a mid-inclination orbit with dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commercial and government customers…


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Starlink Group 8-1
Space Launch Complex 4E - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

A batch of 21 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.