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Photos: X-37B Space Plane - The Orbital Test Vehicle

It's All in the Brochure

United Launch Alliance

This exciting graphic from the official promotion materials depicts the Atlas V booster at left, and the Orbital Test Vehicle (X-37B) at right. Click to enlarge.

Did I Pass the Acid Test?

U.S. Air Force

The X-37B/OTV spacecraft undergoes final testing at Boeing for a 2010 test flight. Click to enlarge.

We Have a Technical (Adjustment)

Boeing/R. Davis

This 2003 photo shows a Boeing technician making adjustments to composite panels on the then NASA X-37 Approach and Landing Test Vehicle. Atmospheric flight testing aided in the design of the orbital version of the U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane.

X-37B in Space


The U.S. Air Force's X-37B (shown here in an illustration) is an unpiloted military space plane capable of long-duration flights in Earth orbit. The robotic spacecraft has a solar array for power and a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed.

Do I Have to Draw a Diagram?

United Launch Alliance

This exploded view details the components of the Atlas V 501 vehcle. The configuration consists of a single Atlas V booster stage and the Centaur upper stage, with the OTV mission encapsulated within the payload fairing.

A Very Good Place to Start

United Launch Alliance

This image gives an overview of the launch site overview at Cape Canaveral.

A Look Inside

Karl Tate,

This graphic takes a look inside the X-37B space plane and its Atlas 5 rocket.

On the Runway


The X-37B space plane prototype is seen on a runway during flight tests in this undated photo released by the U.S. Air Force.

Drop It Like It's Hot

Alan Radecki

The first air drop of the X-37 experimental spaceship from the White Knight carrier craft was called off on April 6, 2006 due to high-altitude winds over Edwards Air Force Base in California. An April 7 attempt ended with the robotic space plane rolling o

X-37B Robot Space Plane: On the Launch Pad

Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with the Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) - inside the bulbous nose cone - the rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 21, 2010.

All Stacked Up


The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane prototype, called the Orbital Test Vehicle 1, is primed for its debut launch into space in April 2010.

Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.

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