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30 votes
Accepted

Why is the X-37B's large nozzle offset to right from the spacecraft's mid-plane?

First off, it's absolutely an engine nozzle. Some sources say X-37B has a storable biprop propulsion system with ~900N thrust. The Aerojet R-42 is such an engine and the dimensions look about right --...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

Yes. Buran and the shuttle are the only ones which entered orbit, launched with wings exposed, and launched vertically. Other such designs have also been serious considered. Boeing's X-20 got the ...
Schlusstein's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why are these people wearing SCAPE Suits near the X37-B?

The answer is given in your link: "This was reportedly changed to a hypergolic nitrogen-tetroxide/hydrazine propulsion system." Hydrazine is toxic and carcinogenic. But this hypergolic non-cryogenic ...
Uwe's user avatar
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4 votes

Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

Buran, the Russian attempt at a Space Shuttle of course also launched the same way. But it was only a single launch ever.
geoffc's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is the X-37B's large nozzle offset to right from the spacecraft's mid-plane?

It is indeed the main propulsion system, powered by hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, hence the hazmat suits. The team wearing those suits checks the vehicle over and then hose it down, after which ...
Calli Arcale's user avatar
2 votes

Why are these people wearing SCAPE Suits near the X37-B?

Ground crews first approaching the shuttle after landing wore similar gear and used a propellant fume detector on an extendible arm. No fumes detected they could back off and team to extract crew got ...
T-Square's user avatar
1 vote

Is there any leaked information about the real purpose of the X-37B spaceplane

The official name of the vehicle is the "Orbital Test Vehicle", and there is an information sheet produced by the US Airforce. The two stated purposes are: The primary objectives of the X-37B are ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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