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Boeing Suggests Possible Manned Version of the X-37B Space Plane 87

garymortimer writes with an article in sUAS News. From the article: "A Boeing chief has suggested that the company's mysterious unmanned space-plane, called X-37B, developed for the US Air Force, could be scaled up and modified to carry astronauts. The company's X-37B project chief Art Grantz revealed that at least two more versions of the 9-meter long space-plane are under investigation – one of which involves adding a crew to a much-enlarged version of the space drone, New Scientist reported. If built, the new version would give the US back its ability to shuttle people to the International Space Station."
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Boeing Suggests Possible Manned Version of the X-37B Space Plane

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  • by maroberts ( 15852 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @03:26PM (#37682526) Homepage Journal

    The X-37B is 9 meters long and fits in/on a normal rocket. I'm sure SpaceX, Boeing or ArianeSpace can lift 5 metric tonnes into space on their rockets, to name just a few. Even if a human capable X-37 is larger and doubles in weight, there's no shortage of rockets capable of punting it up there.

    It would be a few years in the future in any event and some or all of the above will be regarded as 'safe' for astronauts by then.

  • SpaceX diversion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @03:26PM (#37682536)

    The whole point of this ploy is to distract from the much more efficient and low cost SpaceX system.

    The primary competency of the United Launch Alliance group is managing government procurement, secrecy regulations, and Congressional politics.

    The primary competency of SpaceX is cost-efficient rocket engineering.

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