My local engineering newspaper has an article on the X-37B craft, with an image displaying the craft within half of the shell that encapsulates it. The shell has a number of plates arranged on its inside surface, which look decidedly like silvery 'Lego' base plates:

enter image description here

What are those plates for?

The image is captioned:

This is how the X-37B is encapsulated at the top of an Atlas 5 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida. Photo: U.S. Air Force courtesy photo Photo: U.S. Air Force courtesy photo.


1 Answer 1


As detailed in this other answer, they provide noise dampening.

Thanks to Hobbes who is possibly a Helmholtz nut. ;)

(...gotta wait 2 days before I can close this question...)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ maybe you can accept your own answer? $\endgroup$
    – le_daim
    May 9, 2017 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ ....yes, in 21 hours... $\endgroup$
    – KlaymenDK
    May 10, 2017 at 10:37

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