Former NASA astronaut and a member of the University of California Stephen Robinson offered to turn the American reusable suborbital spy plane Boeing X-37 (X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV) to remedy the urgent delivery of astronauts to the International space station (ISS) to Earth. It is reported Lenta.ru with reference to the portal Space.
Robinson said that since the end of the use of NASA shuttles in 2011 the only way to return to Earth in an emergency was of the rocket “Soyuz”. It is noted that they are unacceptable for the delivery of sick and injured astronauts, as do “hard” landing. For this reason, injured about 40 percent of the astronauts, says Ethan Hallberg, one of Robinson’s graduate students.
According to Holberg, this space taxi should be able to be on the ISS for at least two years, to deliver humans to Earth in three hours and be able to land near the hospital. Ideally, these parameters, is Shuttle X-37B, which has already been tested in action.
The report added that in this case, it needs to undergo some changes. First, it needs to have manual control, as is now unmanned. The cargo Bay should increase from 2.5 to 4.2, cubic metres so it can accommodate two passengers and the pilot. Also the Shuttle needs to use a non-toxic fuel.
Work on the creation of the X-37 began in 1999 with joint efforts of NASA and Boeing. It was assumed that it will be used for the repair of near-earth satellites at altitudes up to about 700 kilometers. Boeing X-37 able to enter orbit and land in the same manner as the devices of the Space Shuttle. Length reusable orbital plane of 8.83 meters, which is four times less than that of the Space Shuttle, and its wing span of 4.6 meters.