Let’s hope it’s up to all sorts of no good.
In the next installment to improve space capability and further develop an affordable, reusable space vehicle, the Air Force conducted its third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle launch here on December 11, officials said.
The launch comes on the heels of the successful flight of OTV-2, which made an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., June 11 after a record 469 days in space.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the strides we’ve made in this program and the success of the X-37B vehicle on the first two flights,” said Mr. Richard McKinney, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space. “However, it is important to keep in mind that this is an experimental vehicle and a third mission is still relatively young for a test program. This is the first re-flight of a vehicle so that is certainly a key objective for us. We have only just begun what is a very systematic checkout of the system.”
NOTE: This is a re-post from 2009.
There are a lot of familiar images from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Here is one of them:
Those who don’t know or haven’t looked closely might not notice that there are two destroyers in front of the battleship. The drydock had been dry when the attack began, but after raging fires began setting off ammunition aboard the destroyers, it was flooded in an attempt to douse the flames. Cassin slipped from her blocks and rolled against Downes.
Both ships were 1500-ton Mahan-class ships and had been commissioned in the mid-30s.
Here’s another image, taken from near where the two men in the first photo are standing at the head of the dock. The men on the Downes surveying the damage give a great sense of scale:
Notice the man in white uniform crawling on the Cassin, just behind the partially submerged #2 turret.
Here’s a shot from the rear of the destroyers:
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