Monday, November 22, 2010

X-Plane updates - news and rumors

Clark Lindsey updates us on the status of the X-34 and speculates about the X-37B.

NASA Dryden has released a press release confirming that the two X-34's have been moved to Mojave, where Orbital Sciences personnel will determine if they are flight worthy.  No word on what their plans are if the are so. There are a couple of photos of the X-34's in-transport here.

Amateur satellite watchers have been tracking the X-37B since shortly after it launched. It has occasionally gone missing, presumably after orbital maneuvers, but had again been found.  However, it now hasn't been seen since November 10th and one of Clark's readers spotted an interesting NOTAM issued for the VAFB area.  Here's the short version:
M0426/10 - USE EXTREME CAUTION FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY IN THE  VICINITY OF VANDENBERG AFB. 20 OCT 21:45 2010 UNTIL 15 DEC 23:59 2010.
For all I know they are testing some UAV's, but maybe the X-37B is coming (or already is) home.