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Old 09-11-2017, 11:03 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Originally Posted by BigRIJoe
So why the launch vehicle switch for the X-37B?
In the SpaceX video (in the first posting above), there is a brief presentation by Boeing about the X-37B. In it, they mention that they wanted to demonstrate the X-37B's compatibility with a different launch vehicle. I don't know if that's the only reason (a few years ago SpaceX had taken legal action to be able to bid on defense-related government satellite launches, though not specifically the X-37B). Aside from (I presume) winning the bid for this latest X-37B mission, Boeing (and probably also the USAF) probably like having a second launch vehicle option, just in case the Atlas V might be temporarily unavailable due to a "launch queue bottleneck," or because the vehicle was out of service due to a launch failure (and its review period), which might also--depending on the nature of the anomaly--involve a damaged and unusable launch pad. (I'm not prognosticating an Atlas V failure, but at some point such a failure is statistically inevitable.)
Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
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