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X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

  1. Sep 29, 2014 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2014 #2


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    Considering that most details about this vehicle are classified, I'm my sure you will get a definitive answer.
  4. Sep 29, 2014 #3
    You're right, but maybe someone here can give an educated guess. That attire they're wearing seems excessive unless the drone is radioactive or has some toxic coating or something. Maybe it's powered by a small nuclear reactor? I could speculate...lol.
  5. Sep 29, 2014 #4


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    The outfit the guys have on is called a SCAPE suit (Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble). The only reason I know of for wearing one is to protect you from toxic propellants, most likely hydrazine which is commonly used for those small thrusters used for attitude adjustment. They might be wearing them because they suspect a hydrazine leak and the yellow box could be something to detect it with.

    I suppose it's possible that there's something radioactive on board, but I can't imagine what it could be.
  6. Sep 29, 2014 #5
    A hydrazine leak -- definitely a good reason to wear those suits.
  7. Sep 29, 2014 #6


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    It could be hydrazine or several other extremely hazardous oxidizers used as rocket fuel. We used Chlorine trifluoride to clean chambers of process byproducts but the stuff was so dangerous we removed it after a few false alarms.

    http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2008/02/26/sand_wont_save_you_this_time.php [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Sep 29, 2014 #7
    nsaspook, did you wear one of those suits?
  9. Sep 30, 2014 #8
    Highly toxic chemical propellants may leak from the vehicle. Same thing when they received the space shuttles.
  10. Sep 30, 2014 #9


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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  11. Oct 7, 2014 #10
    A possible fuel leak is definitely a good reason to wear those. Hydrazine specifically is insanely toxic, and even short term exposures can lead to terrible things.
  12. Oct 14, 2014 #11
  13. Oct 17, 2014 #12
    More teasing from the Air Force: http://news.yahoo.com/sky-mystery-space-plane-why-190847322.html [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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