Oct 312014

I’ve written a short and illustrated piece on how the Dyna Soar can illustrate the possible capabilities of the X-37B over at War Is Boring:

Wondering What the U.S. Air Force’s Secretive Spaceplane Can Do? History Offers Clues

I am contemplating expanding this considerably for a separate release. It’d be a little different from the usual sort of thing I do, since the X-37B is a real flying vehicle, not just an unbuilt project.

 Posted by at 7:17 pm
  • Nicely done. Simplified just enough to make it digestible for the non-APR-geek, while still keeping it accurate and informative.

    • Anonymous

      Love the comparison drawings. Inclusion of sat inspector Gemini concepts might be nice.

      • Anonymous

        As mentioned, I’m contemplating expanding it. The basic concept will remain the same… what can the X-37 do, and what do prior programs suggest. The original target for this piece was 2,000 words but it came in about 3,000… chopped down a lot from the original 5,000 or so, most of which was cribbed from the APR article. The expanded version would provide a lot more on the X-37. The sat inspector Gemini would be something of a tangent here.

  • se jones

    Good job!
    Excellent research, lots I did not know.
    Top notch piece, this belongs in Popular Science or A&S Smithsonian.

  • Egor Petrov

    Do you mind if I translate this article into Russian and post in my blog? With link to this page.

    • Anonymous

      Go ahead.

  • Cthell

    You mention that orbiting (and subsequently recovering) nuclear weapons or Rods from God would violate international treaty – The nuclear warhead obviously violates the Outer Space Treaty, but which treaty would the RfG violate?

    • Anonymous

      The Outer Space Treaty bans not just nukes, but all “weapons of mass destruction” form orbital basing. RfG arguably fits that description.

      • Anonymous

        Less so than the 8th Air Force over Dresden I would imagine–RfG is a bit more surgical–even if it does have a bit bigger footprint than a very specific Brimstone hit we saw earlier here.

        I wonder if more opposition to this comes from the Pentagon who want to keep the old WWII concepts of force projection must equal bases all over the planet.
        RfG would seem to threaten some of this.

        • Cthell

          Thanks. Seems like that’d be a tricky legal area though – what differentiates a RfG from, for example, a tungsten re-entry vehicle design prototype? Particularly if you don’t do any test-firings

        • Anonymous

          While 8th AF certainly participated in the February 1945 Dresden bombing, the mass incendiary attack on the center city that created the fire storm was a pure RAF Bomber Command affair.

  • kbob42

    I enjoyed the article, really glad that you are getting a wider audience. Thanks.