According to Aviation Week, Boeing is studying scaled-up variants of the reusable X-37B orbital test vehicle (OTV) for potential delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS) and other low-Earth-orbit destinations. The new vehicle would complement the company’s CST-100 crew vehicle. The X-37B evolution study envisages a three-phase buildup. The first would use the current 9 meters long vehicle for demonstration flights to the ISS. According to Boeing, even in this configuration the vehicle would be able to carry items such as the station’s control moment gyros, battery discharge and pump module. The second would use a 165% scaled-up version – about 15 meters – enough to carry line replaceable units (LRUs) to the ISS. The third version would be an upscaled, human rated is version of the vehicle. According toArt Grantz, Boeing’s X-37B project chief, the manned version would be capable to carry five to seven astronauts.
Video: Landing of the X-37B at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.