Sunday, 23 October 2011

Manned version of X-37 space plane in the works?

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down for the final time on July 21, 2011, it looked as if the notion of a manned spacecraft capable of going into orbit and then landing like a conventional airplane had been abandoned. The US government appears to be in favor of returning to Apollo-style space capsules with anything like the Shuttles being relegated to the private sector. But at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) recent Space 2011 conference, Arthur Grantz, chief engineer of Space and Intelligence Systems' Experimental Systems Group at Boeing, delivered a paper indicating that the U.S. Air Force and Boeing are already on the way toward developing a manned Shuttle replacement based on the X-37Brobot space plane. Read More

1 comment:

eon said...

The X-37 bears a strong resemblance to the early shuttle concepts, back when the manned flyback booster was still part of the plan.

I wonder if an eventual HOTOL (HOrizontal Take-Off/Landing) system is in the cards.