NASA has been flirting with a number of private firms in the hunt for a company that could offer the U.S. an option in getting its astronauts back into space by the end of 2016. It looks like one such company will be ready for a test flight by as early as next summer.
The United States' robotic space plane, the X-37B, successfully returned to Earth last December after spending seven months in orbit doing nobody knows what. Now, it seems as though Russia and China want a piece of the space robot action too. Looks like we might finally get that spaceship battle we've been waiting for since the dawn of sci-fi.
NASA got out of the space plane business a decade ago, after it became clear that expendable rockets were cheaper and more efficient. Last week, they decided to un-mothball one of their experimental space planes, the X-34, to check it out for a possible return to flight.
Just when we were thinking the United States was getting out of the space shuttle business, here comes the Air Force launching a semi-secret military space plane next month. The unmanned Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a robotic craft otherwise known...