Will Former Shuttle Buildings House Secret USAF Orbital Space Plane?

Comments
X-37B after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16, 2012. (Credit: Boeing/USAF)

X-37B after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16, 2012. (Credit: Boeing/USAF)

It looks as if two former space shuttle structures at the Kennedy Space Center will be converted for use by the U.S. Air Force:

Space Florida on Wednesday advanced plans to renovate two former shuttle hangars that might eventually house a secretive military space plane program.

The agency’s board approved spending up to $4 million more to overhaul Orbiter Processing Facilities 1 and 2 at Kennedy Space Center, on top of $5 million committed last year from funds provided by the state Department of Transportation.

As before, the future tenant was not identified, but is believed to be the Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, a reusable unmanned system that resembles a small space shuttle. Previously, the Air Force has confirmed it is studying consolidation of X-37B operations at Kennedy or the Cape to save money.

The X-37Bs are launched from Cape Canaveral aboard Atlas V rockets but land in California. If operations are consolidated in Florida, the vehicles would touch down at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

Read the full story.