Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mini-shuttle X-37B talk stirs optimism on Space Coast

Mini-shuttle X-37B talk stirs optimism on Space Coast | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com: "The military’s mysterious mini-shuttle operations might be consolidated on Florida’s Space Coast, and the upcoming third flight of the Air Force vehicle might land at Kennedy Space Center’s three-mile shuttle runway.

In what could be an economic boon for an area still reeling from the 2011 retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet, the Air Force said Thursday it was considering moving X-37B operations to KSC or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Moreover, the upcoming third flight of the unmanned X-37B — a hush-hush vehicle also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV — could be capped with a return to NASA’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

Maj. Tracy Bunko, a spokesperson for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said the service is “looking at space shuttle infrastructure for possible cost-saving measures, including the potential for consolidating landing, refurbishment and launch operations at Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.”"