Usually I don’t build space-themed models, but my latest two models are exceptions. Then again, they aren’t exactly your everyday space builds, representing real-world spaceplanes developed for the US military. The first is the X-20 Dyna-Soar (for “dynamic soarer”). This was an ambitious program to build a reusable manned spaceplane. It started within weeks of the Soviet Union’s first Sputnik launch. It never came to fruition, though. A few years later, with the first prototype already under construction, escalating costs and an unclear mission resulted in its cancellation.
The second is the much more recent and successful X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. This is an unmanned reusable spaceplane currently in service with the US Space Force. So far, two vehicles have flown six missions. The latest was the longest, with almost 909 days spent in orbit. Its official role is to demonstrate reusable space technologies. However, there has been speculation that it carries reconnaissance equipment and may even be intended for anti-satellite missions or to test space-based weapons.
In less than two weeks, both of these models will be on display at BrickFair Northern Virginia, as part of the “eXperimental Military Collaboration”.
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